Arctic for art's sake

Movie: The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Our Rating: 4.00

Narrated by Liam Neeson, the documentary "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" chronicles the ill-fated 1914 attempt by explorer Ernest Shackleton and his intrepid crew to reach Antarctica. After being stranded in the floes of the icy Weddell Sea, Shackleton and his 27-member crew fight an amazing two-year battle for survival.

Combining interviews with family members of the crew, original photographs from the expedition taken by photographer Frank Hurley, and video of the region as it appears today, director George Butler has crafted a fascinating look into a band of original "Survivors."

The expedition took an unexpected turn for the worse as the HMS Endurance became stuck in the massive layers of ice, forcing the crew to abandon the ship, which would sink shortly thereafter.

The key to making this work is to keep the suspense building, which Butler does admirably. Contemporary reminiscences of those who made the journey by family members and historians also helps to paint a full picture of those seen here only in still photographs. The original music by Michael Small also lends a haunting backdrop.

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