Conquerors of the Useless follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life – and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado. Jeff’s life turns when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature – and have come to Patagonia to spend their fortunes to protect it. Written by Tim Lynch
Vanessa says: “I loved this film! The next best thing to traveling to Patagonia (which I plan on doing now) is watching this film. Beautifully filmed and edited. Love the 60’s journey woven through the film, the amazing surfing and climbing footage and the jaunty soundtrack. It is truly amazing what Tompkins is doing for Patagonia. He is John Muir and Roosevelt put together. The message in short form is about conservation and over consumption. When you find yourself on a cliff with no other options (pretty much where we are) you can turn 180 degrees south and take a step. Towards needing and using less. If you want to know what I dream about at night- watch this film. Magical! I give it 4 1/2 stars.
Jack says: “This movie was a true masterpiece, perfect in many ways. The way they convey to you the terrible ways the big companies are destroying the way the people live in Patagonia is amazing. The people went to beautiful places on their adventure. I wish I could go to to those places. This film was one of the reasons I chose the Sierra Club. You should treat the Earth like a person. You should love and respect it. I would give it 4 3/4 stars. Terrific film!!!”
Payton says: “The movie 180 degrees South exceeded my expectations completely! When I first looked at the cover of the movie, I thought,”Ugh! This looks sort of boring. I think I’ll take a nap instead.” However, I was wrong. This movie was beautiful! The scenery on Easter Island and the view of Cerro Corcavado were both spectacular. However, not only is there wonderful cinematography, there is also the fact that two men are putting all of their hard work into saving Patagonia. Now that’s spectacular! All you nature freaks should totally check out this movie! I would rate it 4 1/2 stars.”
Ava says: “It was okay. I thought it was slightly odd. It was inspiring because no one can just decide one day that they want to climb a mountain and be able to do it and he did. I did not like it because it did not describe enough about the mountains. I would recommend this film to painters and artists. I give it 3 1/2 stars.”
The McHugh Family rating system is on a scale of 5 stars.