(out of 5)
Original title: La Marche de l’Empereur
Having been given the short shrift in Jacques Perrin’s documentary Winged Migration, the flightless birds of the earth’s coldest shores now have their own star vehicle in this absolutely wonderful documentary. An upclose view of the life of Emperor Penguins is described by Morgan Freeman‘s energizing narration (in the English version), showing the extreme challenges that these lovable creatures face in order to prosper and multiply in the world’s harshest climate. Spending months travelling to their breeding grounds, the penguins (who mate monogamously for an entire season before returning to la vida loca) take mates and do their best to produce an egg, after which parenting responsibilities are juggled back and forth between the male and female while the two of them share food recovery duties. Survival is a blessing for these animals, many of whom suffer the wrath of a devastating winter, local predators or the errors of the lesser prepared young parents, but in the end, the miracle of life rules over all. Photographed with breathtaking flair, the dramatic experiences of these creatures will get deep into your heart and you’ll find yourself quite anxious to see them through their ordeals. The French version features narration by Charles Berling, Jules Sitruk, and Romane Bohringer.
Directed by Luc Jacquet
Film Editing by Sabine Emiliani