Karin Muller (born June 8, 1965) is a Swiss-born author, filmmaker, photographer, and adventurer. Muller set out in the 1990s to travel the world's historic highways. She is an expert lecturer on Japan for the National Geographic Society, has been featured on National Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio's Marketplace, and her writing appears in National Geographic and Traveler magazines.
Her first expedition took her to the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam, which enabled her to produce a PBS television special, Hitchhiking Vietnam, and a companion book by Globe Pequot Press of the same name.
Her second expedition took her to the Inca Road, a four-thousand-mile trek from Quito, Ecuador to Santiago, Chile resulting in a television series, Along the Inca Road for National Geographic and a book published by the Adventure Press.
Muller's third adventure took her to Japan, where she lived with a pre-Buddhist mountain ascetic cult, joined a samurai-mounted archery team, and completed a 1,300-kilometer pilgrimage around Shikoku. This journey was published in Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa, as both a documentary series and book. She took no camera crew or companions, or even much money, and went on foot and emerged profoundly changed and understanding more, but also realized as a "typical" American she could not really become Japanese.
In February 2013 PBS released Muller's next documentary, Cuba's Secret Side. Part one, titled Under The Radar, looks at the results of the 1952 Communist Cuban revolution by examining the day-to-day life of a variety of Cuban citizens.
Part two of Cuba's Secret Side is titled The Truth Revealed. It delves into Cuba's unique religious combination of Catholicism and Santería. This part of the documentary also looks at spear fisherman and their home-made fishing tackle. The second part of the series ends with the examination of a large festival in the town of [?}. Light displays, fireworks and a float parade inspire both competition and cooperation in the local citizens.
Filmed over the course of three months, and without the supervision or permission of the Cuban government, Muller was detained by Cuban authorities over 12 times. The resulting documentary strives to be even-handed, documenting both the successes and failures of the Cuban government. Most remarkably, it details a Cuban humanitarian crisis that happened in the early 1990s only 90 miles from the shores of the United States. The film gives examples of how Cuba recovered from this economic disaster, despite the lack of aid from the United States.
Muller lives in Ventura, California.
Sudan's Secret Side (TV Mini-Series documentary) 2013 Cuba's Secret Side (TV Mini-Series documentary) 2006 Japanland (TV Series) (writer - 4 episodes)
- The Final Test (2006) ... (writer) - Suburban Samurai (2006) ... (writer) - Spiritland (2006) ... (writer) - Mountain Gods and Businessmen (2006) ... (writer)
2000 Along the Inca Road (TV Mini-Series documentary) 1997 Hitchhiking Vietnam: Letters from the Trail (TV Movie documentary)
Muller has founded an educational organization named Take 2: The Student's Point of View whose mission is to help students develop global citizenship and leadership skills so that they can better understand the challenges faced by people in conflict regions around the world. Muller spends two to three months filming in various locales, then provides the raw footage to North American schools free of charge. Students are encouraged to use the footage and supporting documentation to create documentaries or short films reflecting the issues that they learn about while going through the footage. The first projects have involved footage from Darfur; 37 hours of footage were provided to schools, and a number of documentary programs have been completed. Approximately 40 schools have joined the project thus far. Footage to be supplied in 2009 will come from Sudan and Cuba.
- Karin Muller Rolf Potts July 2006 retrieved 23 October 2008
-  The Official Website For Cuba's Secret Side retrieved 13 September 2014
-  WGBH PBS program details retrieved 13 September 2014
-  WLRN PBS program blog post by Daniel Rivero retrieved 13 September 2014
- Take 2: The Student's Point of View homepage
- Darfur atrocities move Nature Coast Technical High students to produce documentary, St. Petersburg Times, May 12, 2009. Accessed May 30, 2009
- Participating schools map
- PBS educational website on Japanland - Muller's latest documentary series
- PBS-hosted site on Muller's one-hour PBS documentary on Vietnam
- Photo essay on Japan by Muller for Nikon's magazine
- Karin Muller's profile on National Geographic website
- website for purchasing Muller's books and documentary series
- Interview by John Coyne
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