DVD Review: 180 Degrees South

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If you blinked, you may have missed it in the theatres, but now the documentary 180 Degrees South is out on DVD, and if you love adventure, the outdoors, and supporting environmental causes, you’re going to love this film.

There’s a LOT we love about this documentary. First, there’s the whole idea that Jeff Johnson had a big idea and put his everything into making it happen. His goal is to retrace the steps of his personal heroes Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard who, in 1968, drove from Southern California all the way down to Patagonia in the southern tip of South America. The two, founders of The North Face and Patagonia sportswear companies respectively, have gone on to spend much of their time and money protecting the raw nature of the Patagonian wilderness.

In his own journey, Jeff Johnson faces numerous obstacles – along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life, and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado – but he’s so committed to his plan and in the good he hopes will come from him following through, that he never gives up. As the viewer, we’re going along on his journey with him, not knowing whether he’ll succeed in reaching his destination or whether the whole trip was for naught. We’re rooting for him from the moment he gets his idea, and it’s inspiring to watch his very human experience. It’s a reminder that even when things don’t unfold the way we planned, good can come from every experience.

Second, there’s the very powerful environmental message weaved into the film. As Jeff Johnson continues on his journey, the devastating impact humankind is having on the landscape of the cities and countries he travels through is plain to see, especially in contrast to the untouched lands in Patagonia, which Doug and Yvon are so fiercely protecting. The film leaves the viewer considering the impact our fast-paced, complicated lives has on our immediate environment, and advocates for a more simple, present reality.

Curious to see more? Watch the trailer here:

Like a Boss Rating: 5 Hearts


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