Cinema - Eight Below

Frank Marshall is the world expert when it comes to directing films about what happens when a group gets stranded in snowy conditions with no food. In Alive, he depicts a rugby team that turns to cannibalism after an air crash in the Andes. In Eight Below, a pack of sled dogs stuck for the whole winter at an abandoned station in the Antarctic behave rather differently while they await their rescue. It happens like this. Antarctic veteran Paul Walker has to escort newcomer Bruce Greenwood on a meteor-hunting mission on the ice pack using his beloved team of huskies and a dog sled, the only way to travel in such conditions. Greenwood’s inexperience leads to disaster, and the pair get airlifted out of the zone: there is no room for the dogs and conditions are too bad to rescue them until winter is over. So the animals are left chained up at an uninhabited station in the middle of nowhere in the worst possible conditions.

So does dog eat dog? This is Disney: of course it doesn’t. The strong ones help the weak ones; the wily ones work out clever ways to aid the pack’s survival. The story is based on a true one, in which two of the dogs survived the winter. I won’t reveal the ending of this feel good yarn: let’s just hope that it signals the end of cutesy animal sagas based in the southern hemisphere wastes. At least there was no narration by Morgan Freeman. DL

Eight Below: Dogs stick together in a man-eat-man world
All Saints Centre
When? 3pm (also 3pm Sunday)
How Much? £4.50
Lewes Cinema
(t) 01903 523833
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