BjorkShandy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Man's Best Friend
Calling 'Antarctica' the saddest film I have ever seen would be accurate but wouldn't do the film justice, calling 'Antarctica' the saddest thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life would. I cried 15 times while watching 'Antarctica'... there have been family deaths that didn't hit me nearly as hard as this film did. I love animals and love dogs more than anything in the entire world, if I see a human die then I will feel little to nothing... if I see a dog die then I won't be able to get out of bed for a week.
I was immersed to the point where I new every single dog by it's name and was praying and cheering them on in hopes that they would survive. Not all of the dogs made it and each time one of them died a subtitle would be displayed on screen that said their name, how old they were and where they were born. 'Antarctica' is already overwhelming enough without the death subtitle which makes the death hit all the more harder because it makes it feel all the more real.
The majority of 'Antarctica' is shot like a documentary and not once did I feel like I was watching a fictional film. Kurahara does everything he can to sell the film as a believable documentary and I can see his techniques not working on some people but I was seriously immersed in the film and deeply effected by it. Each time a dogs died, I cried... I wanted them to live so badly and even now, I'm crying while writing this review. My eyes are sore and my throat hurts from how chocked up I am.
I will never experience another film as soul crushingly sad as 'Antarctica' and I don't think I will ever be able to rewatch it. It's just so sad and I can't see myself rewatching it anytime soon, maybe never. No review can do 'Antarctica' justice and I'm keeping it short because I want to get back to scream crying into my pillow. I hope this review has convinced some of you to check out 'Antarctica' rather than convince you to avoid it. It's a very challenging film but a powerful experience and one that I don't regret. 'Antarctica' is worth suffering through for the ending alone.