This documentary reveals what it is like to live and work at the bottom of the planet, in Antarctica, for a full year from the point of view of the everyday workers who keep the stations running in the harshest place on Earth. Filmed over 15 years, the film features a unique insider's point of view, with unparalleled access, and never before seen stunning footage of the deep Antarctic winters.
Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings based on a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was done with great care and a very unique viewpoint. It ended up being more about the people than the ice, but that is entirely the point. I appreciated the look into daily life and how people thrive in challenging places. I also like that there is no political/climate change/humans are bad vibe. It was not a high drama piece, but everything was done with attention to detail. I especially liked the view of the sky and it's various seasons and how people who lived there reacted to these different situations. I had avoided watching shows about the total darkness and isolation because it makes me slightly nervous, but this was a very warm hearted show focused on people so I didn't feel that isolated/trapped drama that other shows play up very strongly.
After following for years and chatting with Facebook groups that have people who work or have worked there, I was already familiar with the photography of Anthony Powell. He is one of the most gifted, talented, and dedicated photographers you will find anywhere. He developed his own equipment in order to have something that would work in subzero negative temperatures. His photographic results always stun and amaze.
Most documentaries about Antarctica are told by people who never really worked there, and who make a living doing documentaries about different things. Anthony actually worked there for more than 10 years and met his wife working there. This is quite a different take, and features some very picturesque views, as well as the points of views of people who work there.
He also covers the psychological toll on those who winter over for 6 months during the winter. The people know him, and he is family. So the conversations are frank and open. This a genuine work, not a fluffed up candy coated documentary.
Lots of interesting footage, a look at life on the continent. I stopped watching though when they showed the footage of a seal dying within feet of help right there at the base, getting turned around and ending up too far inland, which they said was common. I have to admit that I am sensitive to children and animal suffering, though I realize in nature death is everywhere, the natural process and order of things on this earth, and no matter what we will never eliminate all suffering of man or animal, sometimes we can help and sometimes not. This is not meant as a commentary on eliminating all suffering in the world. Too many scenarios and factors, the differences between man’s choices and an innocent child or creature, the natural predatory order versus animal suffering from human practices, etc.. What I found so sad in this film was that animals are purposefully protected and rescued all over the world (which some may say is interfering too in the natural order of things), but in Antarctica these people “are not supposed to interfere with nature” as quoted from the film, even if it crawls right up to their feet with obvious suffering. I understand that not all seals in that same circumstance would be seen or found, or able to be saved, but if it is right at your feet? Even a shark eating a seal on nature documentaries is sad to see for some, but it is the natural order and a death quickly over. I am not trying to over personify the seal, or say that certain things shouldn’t be left as they are, but my stomach turned over in shame and sadness for the truck they showed just driving by the poor creature without pause. It would change the world in a bad way to help a seal now and then back to sea? Living out compassion uplifts the human soul as well. in the sea a seal will still have to deal with all the other dangers of its existence, it is highly unlikely an act of human compassion and gentleness now and then will disrupt the natural order to any great extent. Who is to say that something about the human occupation there did not already interfere with the natural order of things? What about what it does to humanity to order us to ignore our compassion for any suffering creature, as was implied in the film that the narrator had for the seal, but I guess maybe not enough to go against the ‘system’ and actually help it. Our compassion for man or animal when ignored or filed away is like a dimmer switch, slowly turning down the light until it is off and we do not have compassion for anything. Maybe in his own way the creator of the film was trying to highlight something he thought should be changed, I really don’t know, but in that instant I lost interest in the film, the people, and the work in Antarctica. Undoubtedly, many would disagree, not being affected by this at all when watching the film. Anyone sensitive to that kind of thing, or if you know your children are, I would let this one go. Personally, I did not think it worth that takeaway thought, which for me overshadows the other good in the film. There are other ways to learn about the continent of Antartica.
The photography is great but there is more than sky in Antarctica. No one got in a boat. There is no sea life shown, no changes in the topography. If a pro had written this the entire continent would have been considered not just one weird town. Even then, the new arrivals are never interviewed.
I wish the film makers had considered more than one myopic view of the continent and their small perspectives. There is clearly more than science going on there, one women runs a cash register. Do they pay for their accommodations? Are they paid? How do each get started, where did they go afterward? What does that prepare them for if it is scientific? Were there any with long term goals? You missed an huge opportunity to inform and educate.
i love it. a different perspective on despairing land, (it will be gone like everything else when human hands start to touch than grab and strangle) the struggle to overpower daily life without supermarkets and taxies. this film kind of brings the picture to my mind of a lonely cowboy somewhere in the mountain wild environment just him his horse and all that quaintness around him. its very hard to find places like that anymore. the severe weather its the only protection Antarctica has. i wouldn't mind experience this kind of life.it looks hard but not complicated. The only thing i would miss its my dog. anyway i gave you 5 stars u did great job an showing pluses and minuses of the life in extremes weather. human life in extraordinary circumstances their struggles, life without sun grass rain, avocado, cauliflower(ha ha) and all those noises human take for granted everyday. Also i cant imagine the longing of being there for those people that must comeback to cities life after living in Antarctica since 1999. it must be really painful and heartbroken when they can't comeback there because they fail physical or other test.
3.0 out of 5 starsCovers Life Working at a Research Station
Reviewed in Canada on December 14, 2018
Great if someone is planning to stay in this part of Antarctica over the winter. Not as good if you want a tourist perspective or a National Geographic type perspective. Pretty limited to one research station but that part about life over the winter for someone working there is interesting.