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180° South

October 20, 2011
Official movie trailer
180° South

Movies, Films & Flix rating: C+/B-

Next time you’re looking to stream a movie on Netflix, check out the worthwhile documentary 180° South. It’s a bit preachy and unfocused, but overall it’s a sincere and reasonably thought-provoking little flick with incredible scenery.

The doc follows a surfing and climbing bum named Jeff Johnson as he tries to retrace a 1968 journey by his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, the founders of the famous activewear companies Patagonia and North Face, respectively.  Apparently, these guys bought a cheap VW bus and drove and surfed all the way from California to Southern Chile and then did some great rock climbing.

The first part of the flick is an aimless travelogue as Jeff travels to meet up with Chouinard and Tompkins in Patagonia, which is where the film begins to redeem itself. If it accomplishes anything, this doc does a solid job of exploring the meaning of the word “adventure.”

Some interesting quotes:

“The word ‘adventure’ has gotten overused. For me adventure is when everything goes wrong.  That’s when adventure starts.”


“The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.”


“Surfing and climbing are both useless sports. You get to be conquistadors of the useless. You climb to the summit and there is nothing there. You could hike to the top from another direction. It’s how you get there that is the important part.”


The doc subjects its audience to environmental proselytizing and too many old-timer anecdotes. But I think we’re prone to criticize because we’re secretly jealous that we’re not out there doing the same. I say enjoy the scenery and begin planning your next adventure.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 22, 2011 2:40 pm

    I’ve been meaning to check this out for some time now, so maybe I’ll finally make it happen. Good stuff.

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