14 Horsepower through Africa (1935)

14hp Africa lo res

The vintage films at this festival are always a treat, if only to humble us modern day travellers who fancy ourselves as ‘explorers’. It’s all been done before! There exist only a few film documents from the early years of motorcycle travel. This is a rare and spectacular example from those times – an overland expedition from Cape Town to Cairo! Six Austrians embarked in 1935 on a 14,000 km journey through Africa with three 14hp two-stroke motorcycles, each bearing a sidecar and passenger. On they plough, across a continent totally devoid of asphalt and wearing what nowadays could only be described as ‘fancy dress’. Along the way they also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro before crossing the Sahara desert. They bounce their way back to Vienna, team and bikes intact, just in time for the Anschluss and WWII. If you need inspiration that it’s all about your attitude and not your equipment, this is it.

Black and white 16mm, 50 mins