Our destinations on your screen!
You may still be thinking about whether to volunteer and where you should choose to visit. Several of our destinations have appeared across the small and big screen so here are a few reference points for your viewing pleasure!
The Beach – a 2000 adventure drama directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel by Alex Garland. “Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), an American college student goes to Thailand with the intention of experiencing something radically different from his familiar life. He meets Daffy (Robert Carlyle), a Scottish traveller who is crazy and rants on about a beach paradise on a secret island and the parasites of civilization. Daffy later commits suicide but leaves Richard a map to the island, convincing him that it exists.” It was filmed on the Thail island Koh Phi Phi!
Two Brothers (Deux Frères) – a 2004 adventure family film about two tiger brothers, Kumal and Sangha, who are separated as cubs and then reunited years later.
Clear and Present Danger – a 1994 film based on Tom Clancy’s book featuring fictional character Jack Ryan. “Ryan is appointed U.S. CIA Acting Deputy Director and discovers that he is being kept in the dark by colleagues who are conducting a covert war against drug lords in Colombia, apparently with the approval of the President of the United States.”
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – a 2008 American science fiction adventure and the fourth film in the Indian Jones series, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Set in 1957, the film pits Indian Jones against agents searching for a psychic alien crystal skull.
The Motorcycle Diaries – a 2004 biopic about the journey and written memoir of 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would several years later become internationally known as the iconic Marxist guerilla commander & revolutionary Che Guevara.
X-Men: First Class – a 2011 American superhero film based on Marvel’s X-Men characters. Acting as a prequel to the X-Men film series, the story is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Gladiator filmed in Morocco.
Inception – a 2010 science fiction film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. “He is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: “inception”, the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious.” Mombasa was the city in the storyline, but Tangiers in Morocco was the filming location.
Gladiator – a 2000 epic British–American historical drama directed by Ridley Scott. Russell Crowe portrays the fictional character, loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when the emperor’s ambitious son, Commodus murders his father and seizes the throne. “Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor.” Filming took place in Ait Ben Hadou to the south of Marrakesh on route to the sahara. Ait is often used as a film location for anything historical, Arab or biblical and is well worth a visit if you are in the region. You can sometimes still see old film props still lying around!
The Mummy – a 1999 American adventure horror film! It’s a loose remake of the original film starring Boris Karloff (1932). Filming began in Marrakech, Morocco on May 4, 1998 and lasted 17 weeks – the crew had to endure dehydration, sandstorms, and snakes while filming in the Sahara!
Blood Diamond filmed in South Africa.
Blood Diamond – a 2007 American political war thriller, the title refers to diamonds which are mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world. “Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War ( 1996–2001), the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces.”
Invictus – a 2009 biographical sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood; starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted there following the end of apartheid.
Big Cat Diary, also known as Big Cat Week or Big Cat Live, is a long-running BBC nature documentary series following the lives of African big cats in Kenya’s Masai Mara.
The Constant Gardener – a 2005 drama thriller film based on the John le Carre novel, the film follows Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a British diplomat in Kenya, as he tries to solve the murder of his wife Tessa (Rachel Weisz), an Amnesty activist.
Slumdog Millionaire – a 2008 British drama directed by Danny Boyle and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. An adaptation of the novel Q&A (2005) by Indian author Vikas Swarup, the film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? “Exceeding people’s expectations, Jamal arouses suspicions of cheating and recounts in flashback how he knows the answer to each question, each one linked to a key event in his life. “
The Uganda episode takes the team down the same road to the school project.
Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the James Bond series and the first to star Daniel Craig as the famous fictional MI6 agent. “Casino Royale is set at the beginning of Bond’s career as Agent 007, just as he is earning his licence to kill. After preventing a terrorist attack at Miami International Airport, Bond falls for the treasury employee assigned to provide the money he needs to bankrupt terrorist financier Le Chiffre by beating him in a high-stakes poker game.”
The Last King of Scotland, a true story set in Uganda.
The Last King of Scotland – a 2006 British drama based on the novel by Giles Foden, it tells the fictional story of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and becomes the personal physician to the dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). “The film is based on factual events of Amin’s rule and the title comes from a reporter in a press conference who wishes to verify whether Amin declared himself the King of Scotland. Amin was known to invent and adopt fanciful imperial titles for himself!”
Jeremy, Richard and James begin their epic trip across Africa – beginning with a soiree through the traffic-infested Ugandan capital!
Apocalypto – a 2006 American epic adventure, directed and produced by Mel Gibson. “Set during the declining period of the Maya civilisation, Apocalypto depicts the journey of a MesoAmerican tribesman who must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family after the capture and destruction of his village. “
Frida – a 2002 biopic about the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek). “Frida begins just before the traumatic accident Frida Kahlo suffered at the age of 18 when a trolley bus collided with a motor bus she was riding. She is impaled by a metal pole and the injuries she sustained plague her for the rest of her life. To help her through convalescence, her father brings her a canvas upon which to start painting.”
Idiot Abroad visited Merida region.
An Idiot Abroad
Karl Pilkington visits Mexico, where he grapples with masked wrestlers and visits the wondrous sacrificial temple, the Chichen Itza. Find out more
City of Ghosts based in Cambodia.
City of Ghosts – a 2002 drama film co-written, directed by and starring Matt Dillon, about a con artist who must go to Cambodia to collect his share of money from an insurance scam. The film was made in Cambodia, in locations that include Phnom Penh and the Bokor Hill Station.
(Sources unless otherwise stated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom)