MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON has it all: action, adventure, drama, incredible landscapes and larger than life characters. It’s also true!
The film tells the epic story from the Golden Age of European exploration in Africa when Richard Burton and John Speke searched for the source of the Nile. Threatened by wild animals, hostile natives, disease and the African wilderness itself, their journey into the unchartered interior takes them into the very heart of darkness. On their return the two friends become bitter enemies as Speke, manipulated by an unscrupulous publisher, claims he alone had discovered the answer, Lake Victoria.
Burton, who had been ill and unable to accompany Speke on that phase of the journey, challenges his friend’s claims. On the day the two of them are to publicly debate the matter Speke is killed in a hunting accident. Whether it was suicide or murder has never been settled.
Director Bob Rafelson is recognised for his contribution to the artistic renaissance of American cinema in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He earned an Oscar® nomination for “Five Easy Pieces”, which he also produced, and followed that with “The King Of Marvin Gardens” and “Stay Hungry”.
In MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON Rafelson, working from novelist William Harrison’s script, brings the complexity of human relationships to the fore, setting the characters, their strengths, weaknesses and foibles against the expansive backdrop of the Dark Continent and the then greatest scientific riddle of the age.