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The Expedition to the End of the World: Entertaining Danish doc doesn’t push enviro message too hard

A scene from The Expedition to the End of the World.

3 out of 4 stars

Written by
Daniel Dencik, Michael Haslund-Christensen, Janus Metz Pedersen
Directed by
Daniel Dencik
Classification
PG
Country
Denmark, Sweden, Greenland
Language
English, Danish
Year
2013

"If you're into stuff like this, then the whole world is a crime scene," offers one of the hardy souls venturing into deepest, brightest Greenland in The Expedition to the End of the World.

He's referring to the melting landscape around him, but this Danish documentary doesn't push its environmental agenda too hard. If anything, the amazing imagery of stony beaches and stubbornly frozen fjords suggests nature's utter indifference to human presence, a well-trodden theme here given an entertainingly tricked-up treatment.

The set-up is as contrived as a reality show, as a mixed bag of scientists, artists, philosophers, biologists, geologists and other PhD-toting professionals set out to explore one of the last untouched regions on Earth. But, as it turns out, the interactions between these adventurers, with their varied imperatives and world-views, are compelling and funny – all the more so for being set against such a dramatically blanked-out backdrop.

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About the Author

Adam Nayman is a contributing editor for Cinema Scope and writes on film for Montage, Sight and Sound, Reverse Shot and Cineaste. He is a lecturer at Ryerson and the University of Toronto and his first book, a critical study of Paul Verhoeven's SHOWGIRLS, will be published in 2014 by ECW Press. More

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