Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour

(Presently in the YAP Films Library)

3 x 60 minutes • Documentary Series • Produced in association with: Channel 4, TLC and CBC • Production year: 2000

PENN AND TELLER’S MAGIC AND MYSTERY TOUR is a three-part documentary special that takes maverick masters of illusion Penn & Teller to the back streets of China, India and Egypt on a wild and unpredictable odyssey in search of extraordinary practitioners of magic. Throughout their travels, Penn & Teller bring their unique sensibility and humour to these extraordinary settings and share some of their own illusions with the local audiences.

Whether visiting a state run magic class in rural China, finding a snake swallower in a village near Alexandria, Egypt or the live chicken-eating “wildmen” deep in the villages of Bengal, Penn & Teller bring the bizarre, the unusual and the outrageous right into our living rooms.

They take us deep inside China’s exotic culture to reveal how the contemporary Chinese are keeping their ancient traditions alive. They travel to India in search of the legendary rope trick, and find lots more magic along the way. In Egypt, they search for the Gali Gali men, the street magicians of old Egypt. In all three countries, Penn & Teller encounter a lively cast of characters that provide insight into the local magic scene and the indigenous culture.

Part documentary, part travelogue, part performance, this documentary is entirely entertaining.

Series Producer: Ric Esther Bienstock
Directors: China: Ric Esther Bienstock, Egypt: Mick Grogan, India: Hugo Smith
Associate Producers: Felix Golubev and Stephen Shearman
Executive Producers: Pauline Duffy, Elliott Halpern, Simcha Jacobovici and Jack Rabinovitch

Award highlights:

  • Gold Award, Worldmedia Festival