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Encounters at the End of the World

Posted on the 27 November 2011 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
Encounters at the End of the WorldThe eccentric and existential Werner Herzog set out to make a documentary about Antarctica, but not one focusing exclusively on the wildlife or the terrain. Here, while still capturing much of the rugged landscape, Herzog seems more interested with the types of personalities that are drawn to the desolate wilderness thousands of miles from civilization. He meets various types of brilliant and unconventional scientists including a team studying an active volcano, a dive expedition capturing underwater footage, and a naturalist who has just that day discovered three new species of life. Herzog's philosophical narration always livens up his films but I think it is a mistake to focus so greatly on the individuals instead of nature. While at first stimulating, the subjects grow increasingly wearisome to the point where you can even sense Herzog himself growing tired of them. And still, there is some incredible footage here, including a training expedition and a despondent penguin, and although Herzog sought out to not do yet another nature documentary about the South Pole, I think that's where the strengths of his film lie.

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