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The Vice Guide To Travel

By Phil Freeman
Published May 31, 2007


This anthology of short, weird documentary-style pieces falls somewhere between the hallucinatory immersion experiences of Sublime Frequencies and cable shows like I Shouldn’t Be Alive. Various hipsters affiliated with Vice magazine travel to parts of the world your average American would give a toe to avoid ever getting close to, like the jungles of the Congo, the Afghan illegal weapons bazaars, all-night favela parties in Brazil, etc. They’re seeking bizarre and/or dangerous experiences, and they get ’em, whether they’re indulging in native drugs while searching for a mythical living dinosaur with Pygmy tribesmen, visiting the last two survivors of the Aryan “Nueva Germania” colony in Paraguay, wandering through the abandoned, highly radioactive city of Chernobyl, or shopping for arms in Bulgaria. If you let wild-man journalist William Vollmann host a TV show, you’d get something a lot like this, though maybe with even more prostitutes and gunfire. The warning on the box advises that the DVD contains “nudity, guns, drugs, cussing and assorted other heaviness,” and they’re not kidding. It’s packaged with a very nice hardcover book that gives more background information on each story, though, marking this as no mere exploitation job—it’s a journey into parts of the world mainstream journalists won’t bother visiting. Well worth checking out.