Asiemut: The film that changed the course of my life


Warning. This film has been proven to change lives. Viewers who are easily inspired or are especially prone to adventure should view with caution. You WILL laugh. You WILL cry. You may even quit your job and set off on a bicycle.

I did.


Olivier and Melanie in Tibet.

Rewind to November 2006. My husband Bill and I had been contemplating some extended world travel for years. We annually suffered from an acute case of inspiration when the Best of Banff Mountain Film Festival made its annual migration to Seattle. Finally, we  made the pilgrimage to Banff itself, to attend the actual film festival. For several days, we feasted our imaginations on the inspirational adventures, stunning scenery and masterful storytelling of film-makers from around the globe . The entire experience was memorable, but one film truly changed the course of our lives.

The film "Asiemut" documents an epic self-contained bicycle journey from Mongolia to India made by an endearing young French-Canadian couple Olivier Higgins and Mélanie Carrier.

"Asiemut" stands apart for its simplicity and substance. There are no computer generated special effects, there are no nearly-impossible cinematic feats, there are no troubled starlettes on the payroll.  "Asiemut"chronicles an epic journey made by complex characters against  breathtakingly beautiful backdrops. And all of that is there for the taking by anyone willing to step out into the world.

If Melanie, who had never used clipless pedals before, could ride 8000 kilometers across the Talakaman desert and the Himalayan mountains and Nepali jungles, surely I could bike across the Midwest. Or Europe.

If Olivier could pour out his soul to the camera mounted on his handlebars, surely Bill and I could open up to each other and people of other lands and cultures.

If this sweet and humble couple could capture the hearts of so many people (and dozens of awards) with their story, perhaps there was a larger purpose for our smoldering desire to roam the world.

Fast forward. One year later  would find us bidding farewell to good jobs as we set out on our own adventure. Two years later would find us exploring remote nooks and crannies of Turkey by bicycle. Three years later would find us back in Seattle, myself on staff with Cascade Bicycle Club. And four years later it all comes full circle, as Cacscade Bicycle Club is bringing "Asiemut" to Seattle, and to you.

Please join us for "Asiemut" on Friday Nov. 19 at REI flagship store. The film starts at 7 p.m. The adventure starts immediately thereafter.


Bill and Steph in Turkey

Share this post