Following the life-long work of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, Ice and the Sky takes us from the first scientific research in Antarctica to the discovery of manmade climate change thanks to tiny air bubbles contained in ancient ice. What sounds like a boring history lesson on environmental disasters is actually a tale about those who push themselves to the limit and enjoy every minute of it.
Starting with Lorius’ first trip into the icescape in 1957 as a twentysomething student, the film consists mostly of archive footage from polar expeditions and shows the hardship of surviving in a snow desert with wrecks of crashed airplanes and burning gasoline tonnes.
After the Oscar winner March of the Penguins, this is Luc Jacquet’s latest film about life in Antarctica. The documentary does a good job embedding Lorius’ story in beautiful shots of the landscape, sometimes using him as the narrator of the story. It’s also an overtly didactic film with a clear message to save the planet from climate change and it’s certainly no coincidence that the release coincides with the impending COP21. But why not? With a cause as urgent as this, it’s now or never.
Ice and the Sky | Directed by Luc Jacquet (France 2015) documentary. Starts November 26.