“180 degrees South” a documentary

“Fear of the unknown, is the greatest fear of all.”

Though my wife is gone (off seeing her Grandma), and the rain is still falling around my comfortable apartment, there is a joy and excitement in this place.  Though Chicago is a flat city, with nothing but plains surrounding its cement surplus, I found joy in this simple but terrifically exciting documentary that is filled with surfs, sailing, and summits.

The ending credits end with a song with lyrics that repeat “Here’s to now!” as if to toast to the moment.  Bringing the all the excitment that could be had in the world to sheer will of the one who would have it.  Jeff Johnson was one who had it.  A surfer and mountaineer, he sought out purity in the conservation of Patagonia, in Chile.  To get there, he would have to sail months on a cutter sailing boat, while suffering sea sickness and ship-damage.  Upon attempt of summitting the peak he dreamed of conquering in Patagonia, he encountered life threatening obstacles.

But when you get down to it, it is a wonderfully beautiful film on the simple sheer desire to make everything count.  Two men, who provided the inspiration for the journey, had been living in Patagonia as conservationalists, and upon realizing that Jeff was leaving soon, decided to embark on a venture to summit a peak they had never quite conquered.  Bear in mind, these gentlemen were in their 70’s.  Though mountain climbers all their life, this summit was no doubt a challenge, reinforcing the lyric that chimed the end of the movie, “Here’s to now!”  Don’t let a moment slip you by!

“The hardest thing is to simplify your life.  To make it complex is simple.  The solution to the worlds problems just may be for us to turn around and make a forward step.”  Said Yvonn one of the conservationalists.  Make a 180 degree turn, and take a step!

Here’s a trailer of the documentary!


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