>> View collection On December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen, accompanied by four men, won the race to reach the South People. One of the most important documents from this expedition is The South Pole Film, one of four documents from Norway included on the UNESCO international register for the Memory of the World.
The South Pole Film is actually three films - three slightly different versions for the Norwegian, English and German markets that vary somewhat in length, and feature intertitles in the three different languages.
When returning from the Antarctica, Amundsen went on an extensive lecture tour around the world, bringing the film with him - a mix of a travelogue and nature film. Interestingly, the expedition did not bring a cinematographer, and it is unknown if any of the expedition members were given any training in using the camera equipment before leaving Oslo. The South Pole film is the earliest film in the Polar Film Collection the National Library of Norway is making available via the European Film Gateway portal. Amundsen, who went on several other expeditions later, left the camera and filming to professionals, and looking at the material we can see great differences from their earliest Norwegian expedition film, to the later expedition films from the 1920s.