Film March of the Penguins 2, review


This December 2016 video is the French language trailer of the new film by Luc Jacquet, L’Empereur. In English March of the Penguins 2: The Call. It is a sequel to the earlier March of the Penguins documentary.

On 21 May 2017, I went to see this film about the life of emperor penguins in Antarctica.

The film concentrates on one penguin couple in an emperor nesting colony. They fall in love (for birds it is important that their partner is their own choice, not ‘arranged’ like often with caged birds, according to recent research). They have an elaborate mating dance, which makes it easier for them to recognize each other later among the thousands of penguins in the colony.

After the female lays an egg, she has to transfer it to the male’s feet to keep it warm. Then, the egg has to roll across the ice. If that takes too long, the cold may kill the embryo. Then, the hungry female leaves for months to feed in the ocean, which she reaches after a long and arduous walk. The male meanwhile tries to keep the egg alive; not easy during winter storms.

Then, a baby penguin is born. Its father does not have much food for it. Everything depends on the return in time of the mother. When she arrives, the father will transfer the baby to the mother’s feet for keeping it warm. Like transferring eggs, this is risky: the vulnerable young penguin should not be on the ice for the transfer for too long.

Now, the hungry father can leave to the ocean to feed, and find food for the baby. He sometimes, to get there, has to walk scores of kilometers, sometimes a hundred (depending on ice extent), across difficult areas with steep slopes, pointed rocks and fracturing ice. Later, the young penguin becomes so big, needing more food, that both parents have to go to the ocean together, instead of one staying with the youngster.

Finally, the emperor penguin son will have to walk to the sea himself. First, his mother leaves. He follows his father for a few miles; then, he is in a group of young penguins all wanting to go the ocean they have never seen.

The film has spectacular views of the penguins swimming underwater, up to 600 meter deep.

There are not many other Antarctic animals in the film. No whales (most not dangerous, but killer whales are a danger to swimming penguins). No seals (leopard seals are a danger to swimming penguins). A fleeting view of a snow petrel flying past (not named). The bigger relative of the snow petrel, the giant petrel is named and shown trying to catch a young penguin; which fails. The only other penguin species nesting as far south as emperor penguins, the smaller Adelie penguin, is shown a few times, including in a quarrel on the coast with young emperor penguins hesitating whether they will swim in the ocean for the first time ever.

The film does not go into how climate change may damage emperor penguins, except in its last sentence, saying that emperor penguins have lived for millions of years, and will continue for millions more ‘if we [humans] behave ourselves’. Maybe a bit surprising, such a short mention, as director Luc Jacquet in 2015 made the film La glace et le ciel (English: Ice and the Sky) about global warming, focusing on French Antarctic researcher Claude Lorius.
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British filmmaker Loach’s new Corbyn film


British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn writes about this video:

In conversation with Jeremy Corbyn | documented by Ken Loach

21 September 2016

Ken Loach is one of the greatest directors of our time. I was thrilled that he asked to follow our campaign for two days this summer.

He documented people sharing their personal stories and discussing their reasons for supporting our agenda. These stories show why Labour must transform and rebuild Britain so that no one and no community is left behind.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Loach to make film on Corbyn

Wednesday 10th May 2017

KEN LOACH is making a film about Jeremy Corbyn to “show what he’s really like,” the acclaimed director revealed yesterday.

The film-maker is spending time on the road with the Labour leader during the party’s election campaign and plans to make a political broadcast which will focus on his personal nature.

Mr Loach, who made the award-winning film I, Daniel Blake, said he felt Mr Corbyn’s ability to bond with ordinary people wasn’t being reported fairly.

He said: “All the evidence shows they’re [the mainstream media] hostile to him in a way that’s quite different to any other political leader. So we’re trying to get it on record that he is actually a human being.”

Mr Loach is a strong supporter of the Labour leader, and thinks that ending privatisation of the NHS is the “biggest and most important idea.”

United States filmmaker Laura Poitras persecuted for being smeared in Iraq war


This video from the USA says about itself:

Citizenfour” | Oscar winner Laura Poitras on Edward Snowden

18 February 2015

Citizenfour” has won the Oscar for best documentary. Director Laura Poitras talks about her subject Edward Snowden.

By Natasha Hakimi Zapata in the USA:

Director Laura Poitras Learns Why She Was Being Detained at Airports

Posted on Apr 24, 2017

For six years, “Citizenfour” filmmaker Laura Poitras was stopped at airports without an explanation. Recently, a lawsuit uncovered the startling reason.

From The Associated Press:

[Poitras] was stopped without explanation more than 50 times on foreign travel, and dozens more times on domestic trips, before the extra searches suddenly stopped in 2012. Only now is Poitras beginning to unravel the mystery, which goes back to a bloody day in Baghdad in 2004. … On Nov. 20, 2004, Poitras was in Baghdad filming “My Country, My Country.” The film depicts Iraqi elections from the perspective of an Iraqi doctor, who criticized the U.S. occupation yet hoped democracy would take root in his homeland.

Members of a U.S. Army National Guard unit from Oregon reported seeing a “white female” holding a camera on a rooftop just before they were attacked. David Roustum, 22, an Army National Guardsman from West Seneca, New York, was killed. Several troops were wounded. Some guardsmen who saw Poitras suspected she had a heads-up about the attack and didn’t share that information with American forces because she wanted to film it. If true, Poitras would have broken U.S. criminal law.

Poitras called the allegation false and said she didn’t film the attack.

Read more.

In a win for government-transparency advocates, the FBI has agreed to turn over records it created when it spied on two anti-war journalists and pay $299,000 to settle their attorneys’ fees: here.

New film on wildlife in Amsterdam, the Netherlands


This Dutch video is the trailer of the new film De Wilde Stad (the wild city). This film on wildlife in Amsterdam city will be in the cinemas in the autumn of 2017.