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The March of the Penguins French Documentary Essay


“The March of the penguins” is a French documentary film directed by Luc Jacquet and narrated by Morgan Freeman, it’s about emperor penguins and the daunting challenges they face and overcome as they journey back to Antarctic to breed every year.

As winter nears on in southern hemisphere, towards the end of March the emperor penguins come out their water playpens and start over one hundred kilometer journey to Antarctic for the mating season.

The journey is a daunting one since they walk on shifting ice at a slow pace with no compass guide their way, but as narrated by free Morgan and seen in the film “The March of the penguins” they prepare themselves for the long journey by storing enough energy in form of body fat in the summer months because they don’t often stop to feed during their journey back to their breeding grounds.

The makers of “The March of the penguins” leave no stone unturned as they film every detail of the journey and they deserve credit for enduring one of the most unforgiving climates on the planet to capture these details on film. The narration is superb and that is why a rating of nine stars out of ten will be fair for the movie.

The mating of emperor penguins as seen and told in the “The March of the penguins” is an amazing story of life, survival, death and the strong expression of love amongst emperor penguins that comes out very well in the film.

After trekking seventy miles to their breeding grounds due to their inability to fly, they reach their breeding grounds and converge at the distant desolate place where the females are faced with the difficult task of finding amongst thousands of male penguins their mates since the emperor penguins don’t change their mates for their entire life unless their mates die.

One amazing fact portrayed very well in the film is the exchange of the egg from the female to male penguin few months after mating, which is a close and delicate task but the film captures these events so well and in detail. That’s why the film deserves the highest rating possible. Many eggs are broken during the transfer especially for the birds mating for the first time.

After successful exchange of the eggs from the female to the male penguin, it is the job of the male emperor penguin to give warmth and take care of the egg until the female will return to feed the offspring. In the film the male penguins are captured standing in closely in circles for security and warmth since they don’t have nests as they might be useless in frozen environment.

Luc Jacquet captures the superb care giving skills of the emperor penguins in great detail as mothers come back to the males from feeding. The male penguin has already stood in the cold for more than thirty days, lost almost half of their weight since they have not eaten for more than one hundred and twenty days and have been getting less than one hour of sunlight per day. The superiority of Morgan Freeman’s narrative coupled with Luc Jacquet’s directing skills captures these events better than any other nature film.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 22). The March of the Penguins French Documentary. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-march-of-the-penguins-french-documentary/

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"The March of the Penguins French Documentary." IvyPanda, 22 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-march-of-the-penguins-french-documentary/.

1. IvyPanda. "The March of the Penguins French Documentary." April 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-march-of-the-penguins-french-documentary/.


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IvyPanda. "The March of the Penguins French Documentary." April 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-march-of-the-penguins-french-documentary/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The March of the Penguins French Documentary." April 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-march-of-the-penguins-french-documentary/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The March of the Penguins French Documentary'. 22 April.

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