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DVD Review - Lost In Libya

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On Location in Libya

18th June 2009 - As I’ve stated in previous reviews, I’m a sucker for a film based on a true story and that’s why I love documentaries so much.  I’m even more of a sucker for a true New Zealand story as it really brings out the patriotic side of me, so when I was asked to review the documentary ‘Lost in Libya’, which is about the heroic efforts of New Zealand soldiers during World War Two, I was more than happy to review it.

The documentary screened on TV1 on Anzac Day, with not much promotion by TVNZ, but went on to out-rate most prime time programmes that evening. As a film maker myself, I know the struggle it takes to get your work the promotion it deserves. I also know the great feeling when your product ends up outdoing the bigger players in the market.

The documentary follows three ‘history hunters’ on a journey through the Sahara Desert in Libya. This mixed group of adventurers share a common interest; that of finding evidence of the famous New Zealand Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

The ‘history hunters’ are made up of New Zealander Brendan O’Carroll, Kuno Gross from Switzerland and Roberto Chiarvetto from Italy. Their main goal in journeying through the intense heat and mine-filled desert is to find three LRDG trucks lost since 1941. The three Chevy trucks were abandoned during an intense fire fight between the LRDG and the Italian Autosahariana at Gebel Sherif in Southern Libya. It was the first, but by no means last, clash between these two Special Force units of World War Two.

During the trip the men encounter rugged desolate landscapes and treacherous sand dunes, and one of the ‘history hunters’ succumbs to the heat and has to leave the adventure prematurely. Along the way they discover other LRDG battlegrounds and locations where the original members had stopped for shelter and supply refills. The documentary even shows old footage filmed by the LRDG and it quickly becomes clear that not much has changed in the barren land over the last 60 years.

The DVD can currently be bought through Trade Me and will soon be available through selected independent bookstores.  Whether or not you saw the documentary when it screened on Anzac Day, I think this DVD is worthy of a place in your collection.

I really enjoyed seeing this bit of New Zealand’s war history and I give it 7 out of 10.

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