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shackleton: the greatest story of survival



REVIEWER: nick tonkin

28 lost adventurers must fight for their lives after their only lifeline is destroyed in the most uninhabitable place on Earth - Antarctica.

Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survival is a documentary exploring the astounding tribulations Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance faced during their doomed expedition to Antarctica in 1914. 


For people already familiar with this story, Directors Bobbi Hansel and Caspar Mazzotti find a fresh approach to the telling by placing Australian adventurer and environmentalist Tim Jarvis at the forefront of the documentary, and through some well handled reenactments.


Tim is an intrepid adventurer himself, he tells us of his own explorations and exploits through Antarctica, qualifying himself in his explanations of the suffering Shackleton’s crew would have faced and the strength of their resolve. Tim helps convey the absolute extremes the men would have endured, while still maintaining how utterly unimaginable any part of the experience would be for anyone else. 


Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survival benefits from impressive footage of the Antarctic landscape, especially when contrasted with the striking photography from the expedition’s Australian photographer Frank Hurley, allowing the film to clearly draw a line to the effects of climate change upon the environment of Antarctica over the last 100 years.


A vivid moment of this is with the documentary’s consideration of the glacier that proved a dead end in the treacherous journey Shackleton and his men faced when crossing Elephant Island. The glacier has dramatically retreated since Shacklton’s time, and Tim Jarvis visits the same site to illustrate the scale of the change.


Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survival is a riveting and beautifully photographed documentary that provides a novel angle in its telling of the incredible Antarctic experience of Earnest Shackleton and his crew.


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