The Last Continent/Antarctic Mission [2 Discs] [DVD] [2008]

This box set presents two feature length documentaries on the subject of Antarctica, one of the most magisterial but poorly-understood continents on Earth. The first film, The Last Continent, is narrated by Donald Sutherland, and follows a group of courageous scientists who embark on a 430-day exploratory adventure over the arctic tundra, investigating the devastating impact of climate change on the region's wildlife. The second program in the set, Antarctic Mission, is narrated by environmentalist David Suzuki, and follows the crew of the Sedna IV seafaring vessel as its crewmembers observe elephant seals, Adelie penguins, black-browed albatrosses, and many more species from the region.
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Overview

Special Features

  • 11 mini-featurettes
  • Introduciton from David Suzuki

Synopsis

The Last Continent
The land-mass of the title, of course, refers to Antarctica, and in referencing the finality of it, the directors are referring to its status as the last "unconquered" continent, and the last to be receive full exploration. The crew at the heart of this film - a cadre of scientists, documentarists and boatmen - hit the Antarctic waters in a seabound vessel for 430 days, to evaluate the impact of global warming on the ecosphere. As the voyage unfolds, danger and risk abound; at one point flattening winds surface and threaten to end the lives of all aboard by breaking the ship apart on nearby rocks. Meanwhile, the stated impact of gradual warming on local fauna becomes utterly and readily apparent as the voyagers note that ice floes typically used by seals as a locale to birth calves are now absent, the warm temperatures unable to sustain them. As winter sets in, the film hones in on fabulous, breathtaking marine life thriving beneath the subthermal ice - which provides yet another reflection on the devastation that will occur if the drastic climate change continues to transpire. This film represents an unofficial companion piece to director Jean Lemire's documentary The White Planet, in which he films the environment and its inhabitants in the area ensconcing the South Pole. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Donald Sutherland
    Donald Sutherland - Narrator
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