Cinema: Cruelest Island

The Sky Above—The Mud Below.

In September 1959 a seven-man French explorer-adventurer task force headed by Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau, together with 60 native bearers, began a south-to-north, coast-to-coast trek across Netherlands New Guinea from the Arafura Sea over the central barrier through a 150-mile pocket of jungle which no white man had ever charted. Seven months and 1,000 winding miles later, having logged temperatures from near freezing to as high as 132° Fahrenheit and altitudes of up to 12,000 ft., Gaisseau and his radio engineer, Herve de Maigret. staggered out to the mocking serenity of the Hollandia coast and an orange-tinted postcard sunset...

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