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Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice

Running Time: 
1 Hour, 15 Minutes

James Balog’s original idea was to photograph glacier formations. The natural beauty of nature sculpting massive amounts of ice into art as perceived by the individual eye seemed like a great idea since the formations, through time, would be changed, thus capturing them at that moment would be the last time they would appear in such a formation.

It wasn’t until six months later, when Balog and his crew decided to head back to photograph the same locations, that he discovered the glaciers had reduced dramatically in size. This gave birth to his Extreme Ice Survey campaign to bring the effects of global warming to the naysayer’s. After all, a majority of the blow hards who refuse to acknowledge that the way we live is having an active effect on the planet have only ever seen spreadsheets and statistics. It is a rare thing to see the actual effects documented like this. Recorded, dated, and set in motion.

Earth Day is coming up and this is already my second nature film that discusses the bleak future of our planet due to human interference. The first film I covered was Planet Ocean, a far to preachy film that left me feeling annoyed rather then anything. Chasing Ice though is a documentary that leaves little to be argued. There’s no hypothetical’s, no hyperboles meant to scare us into action, this is the plain truth as captured by camera and documented by film.

Balog and his crew sacrifice their time, health, and reputations to capture the dramatic effects of climate change and what they capture is both terrifyingly magnificent as well as sobering. The most awesome sight is a 75 minute calving event that takes place in Greenland. So level of destruction seen is monumental, god-sized even. It’s hard to accurately describe it without failing to do it justice, but that scene alone is worth tracking the doc down.

Though the film relies on picture and film proof to show us what’s really happening in the world of climate change there are also some facts in there. For example, a survey done states that, yes, there have been glaciers that not only survived, but they actually grew larger. On a broader scale though, of the four, in a group of hundreds, more then 30% of the glaciers in the same area have disappeared and all the rest have shrunken dramatically. It makes that miraculous four growing glaciers seem like nothing.

Chasing Ice is a film that really puts its money where its mouth is. Unlike Planet Ocean, which relied on scare tactics and what ifs, Chasing Ice gives you the visual proof. When someone is trying to push me to believe something, like most, I will rebel. When someone puts the proof in front of my eyes, documented and set to a timeline scale, its just undeniable and worthy of taking some sort of action even if that action is writing emails to congress, starting a viral campaign, etc. Definitely see this documentary.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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