Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This celebrity documentary chronicles Malcolm Forbes' 1982 hot-air balloon (and Harley Davidson motorcycle) trip across China, including his accidental landing at a military base in Beijing. In 1973, Forbes set six world records in the sport of hot-air ballooning, an ironic side interest for the editor and publisher of the renowned Forbes magazine. Permission for the Forbes trip was secured by diplomatic businessman Armand Hammer when Henry Kissinger failed. In many ways, the trip itself was a failure. Although the Chinese government gave him permission to fly his balloon, individual Chinese bureaucrats along the way consistently denied him the same permission because he was too near military bases. Neither the Chinese nor Forbes and his companions demonstrate much mutual understanding, and aside from interesting views of remote villages in mainland China, the film's unintended lessons lie in revealing the underlying character of the different featured players in this drama.
adventurer, China, hot-air-balloon, motorcycle, trip