A woman named Fabian Dattner is a professional leadership consultant and CEO who had a dream one night and believes she has the key for the future for women everywhere. Fabian gets the idea to put a big group of female scientists on a voyage for 20 days with Leadership training. The destination? Antarctica!
Two years later after her dream and vision came to her, Fabian Dattner invites 76 female scientists to come on the very first voyage with her. Fabian aims to help them become the type of leaders they truly wish to be in life. While this is just one voyage, Fabian has set up a 10-year project and this documentary is about the first 76 women to participate. Fabian’s goal is far reaching, with her wanting to impact 1000 women, helping them grow. What was once just a dream for one woman is now an exciting movement for all women around the world, even still in this present day.
For those who are not aware, The Leadership is in fact a directorial debut from acclaimed factual filmmaker Ili Baré, who was on board the ground-breaking expedition to Antarctica back in 2016. She is also credited as writer for this documentary. Visually this is an amazingly well-shot documentary. I simply cannot fault the image quality for the full duration of this film. Everything from the interviews, to seeing shots of the voyage are all beautiful and well captured.
The opening of this film is rather pleasing. We gain an introduction and an insight into Fabian and how the idea for the trip with 76 women came about. There are also introductions and interviews with many of the key women who are taking part in this first historical trip. They all share personal thoughts, their pasts, heartbreaking moments, and desires as to what they wish to achieve as female scientists. The documentary provides many statistics along the way and naturally many, if not all of these, were quite shocking and surprising to me. As days go by there are several conflicts that occur within the group. Many women express frustration in regards to the training sessions and even question the leadership of Fabian.
Fabian as a person is quite positive and upbeat. She has many thoughts and beliefs which are rather encouraging. One of her beliefs is that one of the greatest learning experiences people can have is learning from the mistakes they make and not getting everything right all the time.
Overall, this is quite a powerful, touching and a rather educational documentary. It is an incredible journey to witness considering how it started off as one woman’s dream to help and challenge female scientists. It is also shot well with stunning imagery and the pacing for the most part is a positive. This type of film is most certainly welcomed, and I would proudly suggest many watch this documentary even if you personally think this film may not be for you.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden