180 South (2010)
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Critic Reviews for 180 South
A beautiful mess with a point of view that's way too easily distracted.
The film's a meandering affair. The camera's attention flits here and there -- Look! A mountain! Look! A valley! Look! A beach!
Documentary follows surfer/ rock climber/photographer Jeff Johnson as he attempts to replicate the 1968 sailing/climbing expedition of Yvon Chouinard ...and Doug Tompkins from California to the tallest mountain in Chilean Patagonia.
In addition to the film's gentle activism comes a lovely perspective on life and our orientation to consumption that almost feels like antidote to the destructive "progress" that bests the explorers' paths.
If we're going to keep getting documentaries about the environment -- and let's face it, we are -- 180 Degrees South suggests an original way to structure them.
Audience Reviews for 180 South
Interesting scenery and content, but nothing that will make this one stand out over time. Wasn't a big fan of the soundtrack though; it created a weird feel, and screamed "look how indie I am!!" Still, I enjoyed watching 180 South.
"180 South" is an invigorating and impressively filmed documentary about Jeff Johnson, who intending to settle down somewhat, decides on one last big adventure to follow in the footsteps of his idols Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins who drove down the Pan American Highway to climb Corcovado Mountain in Patagonia in 1968. Johnson deviates from their route by going by water, instead. And by boat, I don't mean a cruise ship, either, but a 54 foot cutter that he constantly gets nauseous aboard. That's not to mention the mast breaking, leading to a detour to Rapa Nui, aka Easter Island. Whereas most people get flummoxed when they miss a connection in their daily lives, Tompkins, Choinard, Johnson and other "conquistadors of the useless" thrive on the challenges from mishaps along the way. And there is no greater challenge for all of us than to save the environment before it is too late.(The tragedy of Rapa Nui, whose ecosystem collapsed through overproduction, serves as a chilling warning for future generations.) In Chile, there are pulp mills, commerical fishing and proposed hydroelectric dams to support the evergrowing city of Santiago at the cost of the livelihoods of local fishermen and farmers. To fight this, Tompkins and his wife Kristine have devoted themselves to the cause by founding Conservacion Patagonia, buying millions of acres of land for preservation. In the end, "180 South" makes a persuasive case for putting away your iPod, interacting with the environment around you and thinking about the kind of world you want to live in.
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