Stanley's Search for Livingstone
Color / 91 Min.
Made for Television Movie (1997)
Rated 18: Not Suitable for Under 18 years. ___________
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Hallmark Entertainment and National Geographic Television present:
Nigel Hawthorne, Aidan Quinn
Stanley searches for Livingstone.
One man's quest for a missing missionary in the dark of the African jungle, becomes his own journey of self-discovery, finding the light of his tormented soul.
In 1869, Dr. David Livingstone (Nigel Hawthorne) is thought missing after witnessing the brutal raid and massacre of a village by Arab slavers.
"Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Journalist Henry Morton Stanley (Aidan Quinn) is sent by New York Herald publisher, James Gordon Bennett, to find and bring back Livingstone.
Before leaving, Stanley meets American Alice Pike, to whom he sends letters.
Stanley's caravan departs from Zanzibar.
In a feverish dream, he recalls details from his own bitter childhood as a rejected bastard and a 5-year-old Welsh workhouse inmate.
Another nightmare revives the horror of his best friends nightmare at Shiloh.
When the journey becomes difficult, Stanley governs his men with whip and gun, but also drives himself as cruelly.
Learning the missionary is at Ujiji, Stanley dresses in his white suit and helmet and meets Dr. Livingstone with his famous greeting.
Livingstone explains that he cannot leave until he finds the source of the Nile, "the fountain of truth and life".
Together they travel to the headwaters of Lake Tanganyika.
During the trek, Stanley reveals the horrible memories from his past.
He is also powerfully affected by Livingstone's reverence for life, and comes to share his abhorrence of the slave trade.
The missionary asks Stanley to call him "Baba", meaning father. ___________________________
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Discovering the lake is not the source of the Nile, Livingstone presses on, but Stanley returns to England with the missionary's journals and letters detailing the slaver's atrocities.
The Royal Geographic Society refuses to believe Stanley, dismissing the letters as forgery.
Stanley is also wounded to find that Alice Pike has married.
Stanley is drawn to "go home" to Africa.
He learns, however, that Livingstone has died quietly, at prayer.
The press vindicates Stanley and, because of his revelations, the Prime Minister declares the Zanzibar slave market closed forever and sea-borne slave trade abolished.
Stanley vows to return to the great continent to locate the source of the Nile.
"Africa is my mother," he declares, "and I am Livingstone's son." ______________________________
Copyright © 2008 S.G.P. All rights reserved.