Encounters at the End of the World

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Released 2007

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Movie Summary

Director:
Werner Herzog
Released:
2007
Rating:
G
Encounters at the End of the World is a documentary that explores the people who live in Antarctica and the strange lives that they lead there. The first stop is McMurdo Station, a research station that is the largest single settlement on the continent. The maintenance workers who allow the station to continue operating despite Antarctica's punishing weather are interviewed along with iceberg geologists such as Douglas MacAyeal. The next stop is a biological camp where scientists study the local seal population. Shortly thereafter, a penguin study group is visited as is the remains of Ernest Shackelton's famed camp. From there, the filmmakers visit the highest mountain on the continent, Mount Erebus, where they find perfectly preserved jars of caviar within the ice caves that exist within the bowels of Erebus. Finally, the filmmakers witness the launch of a giant helium balloon that allows scientists to conduct experiments that would be impossible anywhere else except for Antarctica's frigid environment. Encounters at the End of the World is a unique documentary about one of the most unique places in the world.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    Like many of Mr. Herzog's movies, fiction and nonfiction, Encounters at the End of the World itself has the quality of a dream: it's at once vivid and vague, easy to grasp and some...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times

    The images captured by Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger are dazzling all on their own, finding the disorienting psychedelia that is nature at its weirdest.

  • 70

    Variety Scott Foundas

    Resultant picture -- one of Herzog's best and most purely enjoyable -- may lack the built-in curio factor of "Grizzly Man."

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    Categories

    Documentary, Science, Travel

    Themes

    Independent