We saw March of the Penguins today at the free Summer Film Festival....well, at least until the film stopped because of technical difficulties (I guess you get what you pay for, huh?). Anyway, we saw most of it. In my opinion, it is not a children’s movie, even though it is rated G. Most of the kids were bored and fidgeting before the movie had been on 30 minutes. Children today want cartoons and action.
But I thought the movie was amazing! For those of you who have not seen it, it’s a documentary that tells the story of the emperor penguins, their annual journey to the mating place and their struggle of survival in the brutal winter of Antarctica. Morgan Freeman narrates, sharing many facts about the penguins. But the real story, to me anyway, is the fierce determination that these creatures possess to procreate. Once a year they come out of the water and make the 70+ mile trip, walking day and night, to convene with other groups of penguins. Once there, they search for “the one”…the penguin of their dreams. They pair up, mate…and then wait for an egg. The male protects the egg from the cold while the female makes the trip back home to eat. By the time she returns and it’s his turn to make the long trip home, he has gone without food for three or four months. The temps are 80 below zero. Many die on the journey. But they continue to repeat this process year after year after year.
This is radical commitment to having, valuing and protecting children.
Our society could learn a few things from the penguins.