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Andes: Kingdoms of the Sky (2018)Andes: Kingdoms of the Sky (2018)

The 40-million-year old Andes form the world's longest mountain range, stretching 5,000 miles along the western spine of South America through seven countries—from Cape Horn at the southern tip of Chile to Venezuela's north coast on the Caribbean. This is a place of extremes and superlatives, as the breathtaking photography and narrative of this one-hour documentary make clear. There are the cloud forests at 6,000 feet that get twenty feet of rain a year. The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, where some weather stations have never recorded a single drop of rain. In the central Andes there are 160 peaks that are at least 18,000 feet high, including the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, which 500 years ago was home to an empire of 10 million people. The Andes also boast over 200 active volcanoes. "Andes" is the third of three episodes called "Kingdoms of the Sky" that were made by PBS in conjunction with the BBC, and the superb production quality is just what you would expect. This is television at its best. The first two episodes explore the Rockies and the Himalaya. I watched this movie on the PBS website. The three episodes make for a perfect family movie night.

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