• Director's statement / march


    With short steps, bent under the pitiless burden of a driving snowstorm, the emperor penguin labours through a vast labyrinth of ice. Around him, all is white, all is in violent flux. Yet the valiant bird never falters, undaunted by seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He keeps going. In this land where no other creature ventures, the emperor continues on to his romantic rendezvous. As it follows the winter migration of the emperor penguin, "March of the Penguins" tells a tale of legendary proportions, portraying the strange, spectacular destiny of powerful and emotionally-involving characters, rich in courage and humour, mystery and manifest drama.

    My goal is to dig from the ice a story which has never seen the light of day for want of a teller. A true story, however extraordinary. A story repeated every winter, as it has been for hundreds of thousands of years. But there has never been a generation of men to witness and shape it, to pass it down, for man has never colonized the Antarctic. The emperor penguin had never encountered man before the first polar explorers arrived barely a century ago. In 1950, when tentative, makeshift bases were established here, scientific observation had replaced legend as Man's preferred narrative.

    The emperor penguin and man have not lived together long enough for folktales or myths to develop. They remain strangers, crossing on rare occasions in the vast desert expanses of the Antarctic.

    With this in mind, my desire is to tell a real story: through the extraordinary images of the emperor penguin during the austral winter, images that have always fascinated me; and with words worthy of both the Antarctic's excessive nature, and the emperor's epic destiny. It is time for the emperor's legend to be told.


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