After the Oscar winning success of The Last Emperor (1987), co-writer and director Bernardo Bertolucci and producer Jeremy Thomas, who had both gone home with Oscars, reunited for this atmospheric yet cold adaptation of Paul Bowles' 1949 semi-autobiographical novel. Despite all good intentions, and some lovely performances throughout, it does require quite a bit of patience. 1947, and Port Moresby (John Malkovich) and his wife Kit (Debra Winger) along with their friend George Tunner (Campbell Scott) travel to Tangiers to partake in a journey that will take them deep into the Sahara Desert, and as Kit says, "We're not tourists. We're travelers.". Along the way, they meet xenophobic travel writer Mrs. Lyle (Jill Bennett) and her mischievous son Eric (Timothy Spall). Along the way, tensions start to grown, Port has a fling with a local prostitute (Amina Annabi), while Kit has an affair with George, and they keep on running into the Lyle's, and the sense of jealousy grows between Port and Kit to breaking point. It looks beautiful, with some luscious cinemtography by Vittorio Storaro. It is a film which doesn't seem to have any fireworks, one of the few, strong saving graces of the film are the brilliant performances that the cast give, and that's where the film succeeds. Even Bowles, who also appeared in the film, hated it.