It must be the two feet. Plenty of other creatures in the animal kingdom endure mind-bogging hardships, as do the stars of this movie, the empeoror penguin in the Antartica. But none look like little people as they do it. Waddling like overweight suburbanites in line for a concert, they trudge across 70 miles of frozen ice to search out their devoted mates, who, if all went well, have spent the last 3 months standing in 80 below blizzards holding an egg on the top of their feet without eating. These little being’s lives are totally focused on that one egg, and they move heaven and earth to keep it alive. (Yeah for good parenting!) I’ve found that women in particular find this movie romantic, perhaps because once the egg is laid, the responsiblity for its survival through the harsh dark winter is passed 100% onto the fathers. There’s plenty of other aspects about the penguin’s life cycle which make it easy to project our humanity onto them. Whether you find these penguins sweet or pitifully trapped in a horrendous cycle of striving just to stay alive, this is remarkable film. It is expertly crafted to inform you and to touch your heart.
March of the Penguins
Directed by Luc Jacquet
2005, 80 min.
$2, Amazon Instant Video rental
Read more about the film at Wikipedia
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon