French version & Mandarin version, both with English
& Chinese subtitles
Genre: Family Drama
Director: Luc Jacquet
RunTime: 1 hr 20 mins
Released By: Festive Films & Cathay-Keris
Released Date: 25 August 2005
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 land to begin
their long journey to the continent’s desolate interior,
a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other life.
In single file the penguins march, blinded by blizzards, buffeted
by 250 k.p.h. gales, resolute, indomitable, driven by the
overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of
by instinct, by shadows beneath the treacherous ice, 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.
is time for the emperor’s legend to be told.
with our members on this movie here!
Love conquers all.
is what March of the Penguins is all about. Unlike recent
documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine (2002), Fahrenheit
9/11 (2004) and Super Size Me (2004), this documentary film
chooses not to delve into satirical criticism of worldly affairs.
Instead, March of the Penguins indulges in the philosophical
facets of life through the personification of the Emperor
a sequential, chronological order, their life cycle slowly
unravels before the audience’s eyes. From the journey
to mate till the maturity of their young, the Emperor penguins
never cease to amaze us with their resilience and determination
to procreate and ensure the survival of their species. However,
more importantly, this very process also alludes to the way
humans should live.
the midst of the Antarctica, at a certain time of the year,
surrounded by icy terrain and tormenting strong gale, the
Emperor penguins start to emerge from the icy waters. At first
gliding on the snowy ground on all fours while sliding along
on their belly, the Emperor penguins begin to stand up on
his two hind legs as they travelled a considerable distance.
The ability to change their walking style to suit the changing
terrain reveals their fast responses to environmental changes.
Life, it’s about adaptability.
designated spot, the Emperor Penguins waited for their own
kind. Hours passed and they waited and waited as one by one,
their fellow penguins emerged from the water to join them.
Never once do any of them stray from the group. Once everyone
has gathered, the penguins began to embark on a journey to
a mystical land known as Oamock, their mating ground. Life,
it’s about patience and unity.
this journey, the terrain always changes. But the Emperor
penguins always find a way around it, be it a roundabout or
a detour. One way or another, they always reach the destination.
Life, it’s about problem-solving.
they have reached their destination, the Emperor penguins
began to make their mating calls and search for their soul
mates. Due to the unbalanced ratio of males and females, the
larger number of females fought for the affection of the males.
However, what’s amazing is that once their soul-mates
is found, they will mate and stay together for an entire year
till their young is brought up. Life, it’s about competition,
monogamy and loyalty.
they mate, the female penguins will return to the sea to acquire
food for their eggs, which are being kept warm by the male
penguin beneath their belly, and supported on their feet.
When their female partners are gone, the male penguins huddled
together to fight against the catabatic winds (masses of air
that roll throughout the continent, gathering strength over
thousand of miles), while taking turns to move in and out
of the group. With heat at the center of the group, the male
penguins take turns to keep themselves warm. Life, it’s
all about coordination and teamwork.
their own, the female penguins return to the ocean to fish
for krish (small, shrimp-like crustaceans), fishes and squids.
This journey back to the sea is not an easy one and every
year, a few female penguins will fall prey to the leopard
seals, the deadly predators who will seal both the fate of
the doomed female penguins and her unborn child. However,
the female penguins still made the yearly trip despite the
danger. Should the female penguin fail to return in time,
the male penguin will abandon his chick and leave the colony.
Life, it’s all about making sacrifices and taking calculated
the female penguins return with the food, the eggs will have
hatched. The male penguin will entrust the chicks to them
and they will in turn head for the sea for food after months
of starvation. Before they leave, they will teach their child
the song that will connect both of them when he returns. Life,
it’s about identifying and treasuring your loved ones.
the chicks matured and are able to walk on their own, they
are in turn attacked by giant petrels, who feast on the living
chicks. With a considerable distance between the chicks and
their mothers, it’s up to them to fend for themselves.
Life, it’s about being independent.
the midst of portraying the life cycle of the Emperor penguins,
director Luc Jacquet never once sought to idealise it. Shots
of frozen eggs and dead chicks at appropriate intervals of
the film reveal the vulnerability of the species. At the same
time, it also shows their determination to survive. After
all, life is about accepting failures and moving on.
With soothing tracks and majestic aerial shots of the great
wonders of nature, this film never fail to amaze, impress
fact, the life cycle of the Emperor penguins exemplifies the
qualities that we should hold in reverence and epitomises
the ideals that humans should possess. No words can describe
the wonders of the Emperor penguins caught on celluloid. A
watch is essential to savour its wonders.
(“A philosophical film on the wonders of Love. A Visual
by Patrick Tay