Running the Sahara

Running the Sahara

By James Moll

  • Genre: James Moll
  • Release Date: 2009-01-06
  • Advisory Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 1h 43min
  • Director: James Moll
  • iTunes Price: USD 7.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: USD 3.99
From 6 Ratings


Running the Sahara is a feature documentary narrated and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award® winner James Moll. This powerful and inspirational film chronicles an attempt by three ultra marathoners to run across the entire length of Africa’s Sahara Desert, tackling not only the elements, but also unimaginable physical and emotional obstacles. Their goal is to run across six African countries, anticipating two marathons per day, for eighty days . . . without a day off. Charlie Engle from the United States, Kevin Lin from Taiwan, and Ray Zahab from Canada, have run together in marathons before. But this time is different. This isn't a race. It’s a grueling test of will and a chance to accomplish something that no known person has ever achieved. The films score was produced by Academy Award® winner Hans Zimmer, composed by Heitor Pereira, with songs from U2, Pearl Jam, and original songs performed by Wyclef Jean and the African Children's Choir. Running the Sahara inspired Matt Damon and the film’s producers to create H20 Africa, a non-profit foundation to raise awareness and funding for clean water initiatives in Africa.




  • A Very Fine Film

    By janjamm
    If you have ever traveled, you will appreciate the authenticity of this film. There is no attempt to glamorize the third world and, still, it is beautiful. Ray, Charlie and Kevin are honest, brave guys who accomplished an incredible feat. Like every expedition, it had its problems, otherwise expeditions would be easy and everyone could do them. The emotions that arise were real and an important part of the journey. Even if you are not a runner or into athletics, you will enjoy the courage of the runners in one of the most hostile and beautiful environments in the world. When they reached the pyramids you can feel the momentousness of their accomplishment mounting. A sophisticated and wonderfully realized film. I can feel the grit in my teeth. Thanks guys. You were unbelievable awesome.
  • Disappointing

    By jondmac01
    Though Kevin and Ray are great in this movie, Charlie makes an enemy with everyone from his fellow runners to the coordinator of the project to his doc to his film crew. Loved the running, the scenery, etc. but hated Charlie.
  • Excellent

    By sdsdfsdcsdvsdvsd
    I was flipping through movie channels one day and I saw this and was sucked in. I very much enjoyed it.
  • How about rental?

    By hifisoup
    I'd like to see the movie but I want to rent it, not buy a 'digital' copy. iTunes, please offer this up for rental too.
  • I hated this documentary

    By bannor123
    It was spoilt by the contestants who's generally weak personalities (that idiot Charlie and to a lesser extent Kevin who wanted to quit the whole time) made it extremely painful to watch. Assign Matt Damon to narrate and give it some credibility. Fail
  • Motivating!

    A friend of mine told me about this when it was making the regular circulation on Showtime. At the time, I was training for my first marathon and I have to say that after seeing everything that these guys accomplished made every little problem I had seem small (I went on to qualify for Boston so Thanks because it honestly helped me). Yes, Charlie is kind of an A-Hole but the interesting thing is that after watching this do you think there is any way the other two would have completed this without him? There is no possible way. Kevin was so ready to check out about two weeks in and while Ray seems like a genuinely really nice guy, I don't thunk he would have done it without Charlie. Overall, the thing has always stuck with me from this that it truly takes all types and this movie is as much about human interaction as it is athletic accomplishment. The African continent and soundtrack only added to what is a great story. A very easy 5 stars. One of my favorites.
  • Nice, Except for the Baby

    By Nadoes N Canes
    A selfish, narcissistic bully manipulates and harasses his two humble running partners, the driver, the medic, the producer, and so on, and so on. The "athlete" known as Charlie never says a sincere word, always has an ulterior motive with everything he says/does, and makes sure to put his friggin' David Yurman dog tag on full display as much as possible for the camera. Hey buddy, if "running" the Sahara is so difficult, so taxing, then how did you maintain the energy and focus to be concerned with your jewelry 24/7? Anyway, this is a nice doc, but it's hard not to let Charlie, the man-baby, ruin the film.
  • Solid

    By J. Tasker
    Simply put, I was riveted by the accomplishment of running across the Sahara. The cinematography and side stories of the people of the sahara were noteworthy and compelling. Good soundtrack. The three runners were not the most compelling figures but only 2 subservient guys could've made the journey with Charlie....and only a Charlie-type narcissist would've kept the team going. Applaud the support crew, staff, and wives who were the unsung heroes. Hard not to feel inspired during this film that each of us has greater capabilities than we currently recognize.
  • Terrible

    By triCA1
    If you want to watch a rather poorly made film about an extreme narcissist accomplishing something that nobody really cares about...this is your film! Otherwise...keep looking.
  • prison

    By police gso
    Charlie is going to prison