Review by Sorely Macdonald,
18th Cambridge Film Festival
"In Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf's dream-narrative, the location of the penguin's congress is the coldest, stormiest, the most inhospitable - and most fictitious - place on earth: the place where animals talk.
The Antarctic conjured in vision and nightmare: where ghost towns like Grytviken crumble at the sea's edge
but betray evidence of past slaughter, of veritable holocausts of hundred of thousands of whales, penguins and seals. Where the research vessel 'Polarstern' ploughs through frozen seas. And where a handful of scientists inhabit immemorial deserts, monitoring signs of changes in our world. The animals can talk: and for us, their message holds no comfort.
The penguins project ineluctable comedy and pathos. And if the conceit is anthropomorphic, objections are stilled by visual beauty and startling poetic flights. This film fuses breath-taking images with haunting music and sound. Penguin's Congress marries sensory exhilaration to chilling polemic. Magisterial, hectoring, poignant: a lyrical denunciation of man's rape of the