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A brilliant film of a tragic expedition

10/10
Author: drrap from United States
12 October 2007

This is one of the best Arctic documentaries of the past ten years -- a vivid, beautifully photographed story, told through both re-enactment and re-tracing, of the ill-fated Lady Franklin Bay expedition led by Adolphus Washington Greely. Rarely have the stark beauties of Ellesmere Island been so strikingly filmed, and yet it is the human drama that holds the center of attention here. Greely, his conflicted first officer, and his resentful but ultimately faithful sergeant, carry the narrative forward with the weight of a Shakespearian tragedy. And, at the same time, Greeley's descendant James Shedd, re-traces his great-grandfather's sledge-tracks in the long, perilous retreat from Fort Conger, whence Greely once set the record for furthest north. The conclusion will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened of armchair travelers.

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