Utterly devoid of special effects, this spectacular documentary is not short on Wow! factor. It recounts Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated expedition to traverse Antarctica in 1914-16. Less than a day's sail from the continent, Shackleton's ship, the Endurance, was trapped in the pack ice, where she remained for 10 months before the ice crushed her. Shackleton and his crew passed many more months on the ice, surviving on seal meat, before a handful of them braved an 800-mile voyage in an open lifeboat to the nearest land. All returned alive. Expedition photographer Frank Hurley took many stills and crude-though-stunning moving pictures. His work is combined here with contemporary footage of Antartica, archival radio interviews, dramatized excerpts from the crew's diaries and narrator Liam Neeson's rich Irish burr. This moving testament to ambition, folly and the steely human spirit will give you goose bumps, and not simply because of its look at the harsh cold environment at the bottom of the world. It is, quite simply, one of the most remarkable movies playing.


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