November 20, 2010

#107: 180° South (8/10)

Like most of the movies on my instant queue, 180° South had been sitting there for quite a while. Somehow I'd heard it was good and added it, then never thought about it again. Somehow when I am cruising for a movie to watch I usually don't stop on a documentary. Little did I know the magnificence I had been missing out on.  For some reason this time stopped on it, and I am very glad I did.  180° South is one of the most beautiful movies I have seen in a long time. I have no clue who shot it, or how the guy convinced them to follow him on this adventure, but they got some great stuff. It was truly a pleasure to watch.  I didn't expect much out of it, and I was extremely impressed. It gets a 8 out of 10.

This is a film about a guy who decides to pick up and go for an adventure. So many times this sort of thing can feel insincere, or at least irresponsible.  Not only does this film avoid those things, but it makes you want to get out and do something yourself.  The poster says "... could make you quite your job." I don't know about all that, but it at least makes you think about how you could simplify your life and make due on a much smaller income.  Even saying that is misleading as to what this movie is about.  It doesn't preach about consumerism and the value of nature. It merely shows you the beauty and purity of a life that you don't have.

I completely didn't expect it, but I bought into this movie all the way.  I fell for it hook, line and sinker, hence my extremely positive rating.  It was such an uncomplicated film. It was refreshing and very gratifying to watch.  I feel like I could watch it over and over just to see the wonderful photography, or I guess cinematography. As I was watching it I got this feeling of perspective that I so often lose.

It seems silly now that I have been jaded once again from cubicle life, but this film made me feel proud that my wife and I decided to use cloth diapers for our baby. Anytime I tell somebody that we will be using cloth diapers they smile and say something to the effect of... that will last about a week.  Just because you bought diapers made from cellulose that was created by raping the land of natural resources doesn't mean that I have to also. Sure, it's not going to be fun washing shit-covered diapers, but for us the benefits out-weigh the extra work. Not only is it better for the environment it is much cheaper overall.  Anway... that was an aside.

I can understand how somebody could not enjoy this film nearly as much as I did.  My complete lack of expectations probably set this up for me to like more than I should. At the same time, I will recommend 180° South without hesitation. It isn't a documentary that is going to throw out facts about how quickly the rain forest is being cut down; or how much ice has melted from global warming. It is content to remind you that much of the world lives much differently than we do here in the US, and we shouldn't be so quick to think that we are the ones doing it right.


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