We all know Netflix is more than capable of churning out a wide range of high-quality fiction, but their foray into factual and factual-ish programmes are also incredibly impressive. One of their latest efforts is called Dark Tourist. Here’s what I’ve thought about it so far.
What is Dark Tourism?
Some of us like to chill on a sunny beach while others might be more into foodie tours or seeing the landmarks of the world. Taking a break away from the daily grind is good for the soul. Dark Tourism, on the other hand, might not be so good for your mind. Instead of travelling for a clean wholesome holiday to recharge, Dark Tourists seek out locations of great tragedies or scenes of massive bloodshed. Like it or not, most of us do have a morbid curiosity lingering inside of us but we generally just don’t act on it.
David Farrier decided to act on his sense of morbid curiosity.
The Dark Tourist – David Farrier
New Zealander, David Farrier, takes on the role of the Dark Tourist for Netflix’s new docu-series. Farrier is kind of like a cooler Louis Theroux and I imagine many people are already confusing these two as they are quite similar. To be honest, it’s quite likely that the Netflix meeting to commission this show involved a research binge of Theroux’s work to date!
Regardless, Farrier is incredibly likeable which I feel is extremely important when you’re watching a one-man show like this. So now that you’re sold on him, here’s what the show is all about.
The Dark Tourist Documentary
If you’ve read this far you can probably put the pieces together. Farrier travels the world looking for locations with some dark histories.
Fukushima and the Nuclear Fallout
Locations such as Fukushima, now riddled with radioactivity after a 2011 tsunami led to a nuclear power plant explosion. Farrier and a bus full of fellow dark tourists drive through the nuclear fallout with Geiger counters beeping away, aggressively warning every one of the high radiation levels.
Cocaine and Murderers
Another trip sees Farrier visit Medellin in Colombia, the hometown of the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The access Farrier gets is incredible, meeting with Escobar’s former personal assassin who recounts tales of how Escobar insist the assassin kill his own girlfriend for betraying the druglord. The meeting is honest, dramatic and maybe even harrowing. Personally, it kind of sums up the series nicely for me.
Cows, Rocket Launchers and Cambodia
There are countless stories you hear and always wonder if they’re fact or fiction. One story I’ve heard is that you can pay to shoot a cow in Cambodia with a rocket launcher. Honestly, I heard this in the primary school playground and as I advanced in my years, I began to assume it was just a made up urban legend. Turns out, it’s very possible to do this.
This is just one example of the madness that Farrier unlocks throughout the series
The Dark Tourist – Now Streaming on Netflix – The Verdict
This is a great show. Farrier might seem a bit mad as he wanders around highly radioactive streets, eats atomic fish and swims in a creator formed from nuclear explosions – by the way, they were two different episodes. Dark Tourist is a great travel documentary for those of you who are sick and tired of people visiting the same old same old. Farrier is a bit of craic and seems to be more than happy to put his body on the line so you don’t have to. Good on ya mate.
Dark Tourist Trailer