March of the Penguins
Movie: March of the Penguins
I wasn't super excited about this documentary. Though I wanted to see it, my attitude was more like the way one views health food. I mean, how interesting can penguins be? To my surprise I was gripped by this amazing drama! It tells the story of how penguins -- the only creatures that can survive Antarctic winters -- travel many miles across the frozen desert to the nesting grounds where they were born. There they mate and the female eventually lays an egg. Then, exhausted by her ordeal, she makes the long trek back to the ocean while the male sits on the egg. Two months later she's back with regurgitated food for the newly hatched baby. The fathers have gone without food for four months and now they get to trek to the ocean to swim and find food. This cycle of swapping off parenting duties continues through summer, until the chick is big enough to survive on its own. It's just amazing that anything can survive such fierce winters. Many don't, of course; chicks die, parents die (and if a parent dies, the chick dies as well, since it cannot be left alone). It's a brutal, cold world, yet the beauty of these creatures is evident in their play. They joy they express at finding their mate or their chick is heart-warming. This is an amazing film, one you will definitely learn from. I found myself wondering for the first time why I'd never considered becoming a marine biologist. It really sounds like an interesting field (I had no idea we knew so little about penguins). Great film.