Pedal the World

netflix.com
2 Voted

Pedal The World is a 2015 feature-length documentary that follows Felix Starck, a young German who, fuelled by a desire to add some meaning to his life and discover the world, cycled 18,000 km through 22 countries in 365 days. Setting out from his home in Germany, Felix pedals across Europe to Turkey, before getting on a plane and heading to South East Asia, New Zealand, the United States and, eventually, back to Germany. Although the narration is in English, Starck speaks directly to the camera in his native tongue.

 

One of my favourite aspects of the documentary is the fact that Starck has no previous experience embarking on such a journey, simply he wanted to undertake a challenge and record what he saw along the way. It is an inspiring trip for those with a desire to break away from the monotony of day-to-day life and do something that will set them outside their comfort zone, particularly due to the fact that Starck himself is not a professional cyclist or traveller.

 

Another characteristic of the film that I found especially engaging was the personal aspect of it. Shot and edited by Starck, he often turns the camera on himself to provide his thoughts and feelings for the viewer. This differs from other travel documentaries, which often tell more about the destination than the person themselves.

 

Nevertheless, one criticism that I would level at Pedal The World would be the lack of overall meaning to the film. While it is certainly a journey of self-discovery, it is missing the lasting message or theme that other similar films have, while at the same time nothing of substantial significance ever really takes place. That being said, it is an interesting take on travelling the world and is well worth the 90-minutes.

Pros
  • Amateur filmmaker and cyclist with no previous experience of cycling such a large distance
  • Personal experience that documents his struggles and feelings along the way
Cons
  • Lacks the message that other similar films contain