“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life, it’s so easy to make it complex. The solution may be for a lot of the world’s problems is to turn around and take a forward step, you can’t just keep trying to make a flawed system work .” – Yvon Chouinard
On Tuesday evening I was invited to watch the film 180 Degrees South. The film is a modern day reenactment of the epic 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins (founder of The North Face and Conservacion Patagonica) from Ventura, California to the mountaintop of Patagonia, Chile. Although I expected and hoped for the surf movie feel of the film, I did not expect how it made me think further about the interconnections of the environment, hunger, poverty and advocacy.
The film follows writer and photographer Jeff Johnson as he reenacts his hero’s journey, but well, on his own terms. His epic adventure lands him on a sail boat headed south and takes him for a ride to beautiful Easter Island. Through his journey to Patagonia viewers are introduced to issues facing local industries in Chile who are suffering from the effects of urban sprawl, water privatization and industrial pollution. My heart went out to the fisherman who recalled how schools of fish used to practically swim to their shore and their emphasis on respecting the ocean. 180 Degrees South paints a passionate picture of the need for advocacy, the power of a few people and the deep cry of our environment.
It’s 85 minutes well worth your time.
Watch the trailer here.