Thursday, March 5, 2009

Encounters at the End of the World

Werner Herzog's latest documentary Encounters at the End of the World is one of the most impressive films I watched lately. From the wilderness of Alaska in his Grizzly Man, he traveled to an even remoter area this time, Antarctica! The most visually compelling part of the film is absolutely the miraculous views beneath the vast Antarctic ice land. The underworld surprisingly resembles the outer space with divers moving slowly like floating astronauts.

The film is far more than a scientific documentary showing the exotic sceneries and wildlife in Antarctica, it touches me all the more with its human dimension. Herzog did many interviews with the people who live and work there. Besides scientists such as glaciologists, physicists and vocanologists, there are a very interesting group including a philosopher + forklift driver, a filmmaker + cook, a musician + expert diver and a linguist + computer expert. These ‘professional dreamers’ came to the end of the world to fulfill their dreams. They contribute to the research base by providing the needed skills while maintaining their poetic and idealistic mindset rooted in their professions. How can you not love them?!

I’m starting to dream about Antarctica and imagine a life like the professional dreamers’…

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