It is above all a story of perseverance. The story of a stubborn, obstinate man, in love with adventure and infinite spaces. In 1902, the Briton Ernest Shackleton was part of the expedition Discovery in Antarctica. Too weakened by scurvy, he did not reach the South Pole and turned back with his expedition leader.
1908. This time at the head of his own expedition, Ernest Shackleton has to turn back 180 kilometers from the coveted pole, for lack of sufficient resources. 1914. As war breaks out, the explorer embarks on a final attempt. No more question of being the first at the South Pole, this record was taken by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen three years earlier. Instead, Ernest Shackleton plans to be the first to cross Antarctica from one end to the other. Again, theEndurance failed.
These adventures but above all the extraordinary personality of Ernest Shackleton are at the center of the work of the Italian Mirella Tenderini. After the first few pages that are a bit difficult to follow as they resemble a “Who’s Who” of the Antarctic conquest, finally comes the heart of the matter. The long search for patrons and funds, which a hundred years later, still seems current. The preparation of scientific instruments, ponies, dogs and boots.
And then finally the white continent. The icy immensity where the slightest error proves fatal, the storms, the snow too soft to advance and the crevasses which open under the feet, the tents and wooden houses where Shackleton and his men attempt the impossible. Without success. Except that, the most admirable of all, not to lose comrades. Isn’t that ultimately the greatest success?