Epic journeys are few and far between in this modern world. Almost every frontier has been explored. Even much of the deepest areas of the ocean have been explored.
In a time where boundaries are shrinking exponentially, and the horizons seem so much closer, a journey must sometimes simply be a retracing of steps long past taken. A perfect example of this retracing of steps is in the film “180 Degrees South.”
In the film alpine climber Jeff Johnson takes a journey to South America, to retrace the steps of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins.
Chouinard and Tompkins, the founders of Patagonia clothing, and The North Face clothing, are living legends. Together they have spent their lives climbing mountains, surfing waves, and fighting to preserve the landscapes they love.
The film unfolds as Johnson retraces the steps of the same journey Choinard and Tompkins made during the 1970s, through the South American region of Patagonia. Johnson gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs, climbs, summits peaks, and even ends up meeting his heroes, Chouinard and Tompkins; getting an introspective look into the region of Patagonia and why the famous men want to save it.
The cinematography is beautiful–sweeping landscapes, vast ocean, and firm friendships. The film is not only a documentary about a personal journey; it examines steps needed for the conservation and preservation of our planet, and more importantly, the preservation of the outdoor way of life.
Overall, the film is worth watching; at least once, perhaps twice. It is funny, beautiful, thoughtful and exciting. These elements combine to make a beautiful, adventurous film about life, love, and the conservation issues that increasingly become more and more relevant in these modern times. Take a look, it is well worth it; regardless of if you call yourself an adventurer or not.
The film is 85 minutes long, and stars Jeff Johnson, Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard. It was filmed and produced by Woodshed Films.