March of the penguins (La marche de l'empereur) - Luc Jacquet
Threat advisory: Under evaluation
In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way.
Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place as it has done for millennia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of the species.
Guided by instinct, by the otherworldly radiance of the Southern Cross, they head unerringly for their traditional breeding ground where - after a ritual courtship of intricate dances and delicate manoeuvring, accompanied by a cacophony of ecstatic song - they will pair off into monogamous couples and mate.
The days grow shorter, the weather ever more bitter. The females remain long enough only to lay a single egg. Once this is accomplished, exhausted by weeks without nourishment, they begin their return journey across the ice-field to the fish-filled seas. The journey is hazardous, and rapacious leopard seals a predatory threat. The male emperors are left behind to guard and hatch the precious eggs, which they cradle at all times on top of their feet. Subjected to subzero temperatures and the terrible trials of the polar winter, they too face great dangers.
After two long months during which the males eat nothing, the eggs begin to hatch. Once they have emerged into their ghostly white new world, the chicks can not survive for long on their fathers' limited food reserves. If their mothers are late returning from the ocean with food, the newly-hatched young will die.
Once the families are reunited, the roles reverse, the mothers remaining with their new young while their mates head, exhausted and starved, for the sea, and food. While the adults fish, the chicks face the ever-present threat of attack by prowling giant petrels. As the weather grows warmer and the ice floes finally begin to crack and melt, the adults will repeat their arduous journey countless times, marching many hundreds of miles over some of the most treacherous territory on Earth, until the chicks are ready to take their first faltering dive into the deep blue waters of the Antarctic.
Theatrical propaganda posters
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film documentary Antarctica Emperor penguin nature storm winter egg fish ice wind chick
Persons of interest
- Charles Berling .... Narrator
- Romane Bohringer .... Narrator
- Morgan Freeman .... Narrator
- Jules Sitruk .... Narrator
- Luc Jacquet .... Storywriter
- Michel Fessler .... Screenwriter
- Jordan Roberts .... Screenwriter (Narration)
- Luc Jacquet .... Screenwriter
- Luc Jacquet .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- March of the penguins (La marche de l'empereur) official movie site
- March of the penguins (La marche de l'empereur) film production notes
- March of the penguins (La marche de l'empereur) QuickTime movie trailers
- Awards and film festivals:
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS - Oscars) 2005: Won: Best documentary feature
- American Cinema Editors 2006: Won: Best edited documentary (Sabine Emiliani)
- British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) 2005: Nominated: Cinematography (Laurent Chalet, Jerôme Maison), Editing (Sabine Emiliani)
- London Film Festival 2005: Screening
- Online Film Critics Society Awards 2005: Nominated: Best documentary
- See also Deep blue, Happy feet, Farce of the penguins
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Security censorship classification
80 minutes (1:20 hours) - English language narration
85 minutes (1:25 hours) - French language narration