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BMZ Review: Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
By Herb Lash


BMZ Review of Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: September 2002


Category: Reviews

"Whether or not we reach Alaska, we all want to know that such a place exists" - and it seems almost impossible that such a place does exist. Humpback whales, Wolves, Salmon, Buffalo, Musk Ox, Bears, Sea lions, Caribou, Bald Eagles, Polar Bears, Moose and Man - just a few of the stars of ALASKA. The variety of life in Alaska is overwhelming -  enough to provide material for a score of Big Movies (in fact, it has.) In ALASKA, director George Casey shows real grace whether depicting Humpback whales on a herring hunt or Natives on a whale hunt.  The film conveys a consistent spirit of awe and curiosity. Thankfully, ALASKA is not a laundry list of spectacular animals - but a tribute to one of nature's last purely wild landscapes.

Survival is the deceptively straightforward theme - strategies for braving Alaska's extremes and reaping its riches link and distinguish all forms of life here. ALASKA sets the standard for Large Format nature documentaries - too many of which are episodic, derivative and thematically cobbled together. ALASKA's science is broad, but its best lessons are not meant to be of the classroom variety - sheer exposure to raw and beautiful nature is the point.

Large Format enthusiasts should see this 5 year old film whenever it is playing on the Giant Screen. Given the great number of Large Format films dedicated to the natural world it is good to know a gold standard exists - the experience is immersive and intimate.

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