Michael Palin’s Hemingway Adventure is a 1999 BBC documentary. Over the course of four 50-minute episodes it follows Michael Palin as he travels in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, from his birth in Oak Park, Illinois to his death in Ketchum, Idaho. He also wrote a companion book to the documentary.
Palin, an English actor, comedian, writer and TV presenter, is most well-known as being a member of the sketch-comedy group Monty Python, as well as for his numerous travel documentaries.
The episode begins with an introduction of Palin reading one of Hemingway’s novels on a beach. From there he travels to Pamplona, Spain, where he watches the running of the bulls and interviews a matador. He then goes to Africa and witnesses a Maasai circumcision ceremony, then gets a view of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The second episode begins in Chicago, Illinois. After exploring the city he goes to the suburb of Oak Park, where Hemingway was born. From there he returns to Chicago to learn at a local shooting range. He goes to Michigan, where Hemingway learned to fish. Leaving the United States behind, he follows Hemingway’s trail to Italy, where Hemingway served during World War I. After that on to Paris, France, where he lived and wrote among the other members of the Lost Generation.
Back in the United States, Palin takes part in a Hemingway look-alike contest in Key West, Florida. From there he goes to Uganda, where Hemingway’s plane crashed. Next he goes back to Italy, this time to Venice. He takes part in a ancient festival and participates in a duck hunt.
In the last episode Palin travels to Cuba to visit Hemingway’s home and a hotel he often stayed in. Back again to the United States, where he learns to be a cowboy in Montana before going on to Ketchum, Idaho, where Hemingway died and is buried.