ERA AL-SUFRI - BRUNEI
Why did you do this?
“I hope this expedition can be a driving force and make Brunei become an environmentally conscious city state.”
STEPHANIE SOLOMONIDES - CYPRUS
How did this expedition change you as a person?
“I hope it will make me a better person, and with this, help inspire other people to live their dreams.”
REENA KAUSHAL DHARMSHAKTU – INDIA
Why did you take part in the expedition?
“Being on an expedition from various commonwealth countries, the message out there for folks is that get rid of your differences and reach out to each other. This life is too short for squabbles and jealousies.”
KIM-MARIE SPENCE - JAMAICA
What was it like to prepare for an expedition like this?
“Snow is more than physical. It is cultural. Snow is a hard taskmaster - cover up or be injured - very different from a tropical lifestyle. That has been something I need to grasp.”
KYLIE WAKELIN – NEW ZEALAND
Why did you do this?
“I hope to inspire women in the 30's+ age bracket that 'anything is possible with a dream, a plan and a lot of determination!”
SOPHIA PANG – SINGAPORE
Why did you do this?
“I would like to share with other women that we must not forget about ourselves, and once a while, it is ok to give ourselves time off and do things that we like.”
FELICITY ASTON – UNITED KINGDOM
Why the South Pole?
“By reaching the South Pole I think we can show that anything is possible if you take it one step at a time.”
HELEN TURTON – UNITED KINGDOM
“More than anything, I hope to bring a reminder of the value of laughter - when the going gets tough, it’s the one essential quality that everybody will need.”
Join British polar explorer, Felicity Aston, as she assembles a team of women from the Commonwealth countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom to ski to the South Pole. Offering the opportunity to anyone regardless of age, fitness or experience, she received over 800 applications from ‘ordinary’
Two short-listed women from each country travel to Norway. For many of the women this is the first time they have ever seen snow or experienced subzero temperatures. Felicity and her team train the women for survival in such extreme winter conditions, teaching them to ski and to camp out in the snow. ‘Call of the White’ introduces the women and follows them through the training and selection procedure as Felicity and her team choose the women who will go on the expedition to the South Pole.
Eight months later the film joins the women again as they arrive in Antarctica. While the team prepares to ski to the South Pole they are hit by a terrifying blizzard which destroys their tents. With the expedition in jeopardy the team mends the tents as best they can only to find that the Jamaican team member, Kim, has been struck by severe frostbite on the tips of six fingers.
Kim is forced to leave the expedition which prompts an emotional self-analysis by team leader Felicity who feels responsible for the incident. The team is subjected to a vigorous investigation by the base camp’s safety manager who feels that the women are not well enough prepared to undertake the planned expedition and that they risk further injury by continuing.
The team faces being sent home without even having started their expedition.
Following a last minute reprieve the team is allowed to proceed but their journey towards the Pole is not without incident. The women suffer from debilitating blisters and find fuel leaking into their rations which contaminates their food. Perilously short of food, the team face hazardous temperatures, disorientating white-outs, exhaustion, demanding terrain and maddening monotony. Throughout their journey the women film themselves which enables them to share their thoughts and worries with the audience as they inch ever closer to their goal. After 38-days of relentless effort the team finally arrives at the South Pole and claim six world records between them.
However, this is not just a film about an expedition to the South Pole; this is a film about friendship and determination as well as the universal draw of one of the most extreme environments on Earth - Antarctica.
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