A retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton 's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916, featuring new footage of the actual locations and interviews with surviving relatives of key ... See full summary »
A retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton 's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916, featuring new footage of the actual locations and interviews with surviving relatives of key expedition members, plus archived audio interviews with expedition members, and a generous helping of the footage and still photos shot on the expedition. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The subtext of the film, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, Tyco and other corps, is heroic individualism, the tiresome leitmotif of half a millenium of western history. Roland Huntford, familiar to polar buffs, natters on endlessly about Shackelton's leadership qualities, and the suits at Morgan Stanley probably have everyone attending Shackleton leadership seminars. But Shackleton and the film transcend all that infinitely. As the film points out, Shackleton reversed course morally as the expedition foundered in the ice, from achieving the original heroic feat of crossing Antarctica, to getting the party out alive, to surviving. Of course a less resilient party, less skilled and resourceful, would not have survived, Shackleton or no; he picked them after all. The moral is that their (particularly Shackleton's life-long) quest for adventure and heroic deeds (the spirit of the age) was not fulfilled as planned, but he/they were magnificently successful in overcoming obstacles fate placed in their way, thrived on it, completely satisfied. The sense of deliverance on the final, harrowing leg across South Georgia, and his statement, the last words in the film, about having read the text of god, say it all.
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