New Zealand’s Antarctic presence is still in its infancy as this striking Academy Award-nominated NFU documentary chronicles the six month polar summer of 1963/64. Sled teams pulled by teams of huskies are despatched to explore far flung corners, nothing is too small — or too great — to be analysed by a battery of scientists, and the base at Cape Hallett is resupplied (it suffered a serious fire shortly afterwards). However, all of this activity seems to make little impression on a remarkable polar landscape constantly threatening to reassert itself.
High up on this lonely plateau, hands of strong men shake as the letters and parcels are sorted into six large piles. But news and greetings from New Zealand, however warm, only make the cities and beaches and the Christmas blaze of pohutakawa seem very far away.- From the film's narration