Chasing Ice (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byJennifer Tate12/12/2012

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 76 mins

An enlightening and eye-opening documentary in need of our utmost attention, Chasing Ice is utterly engaging in its demonstration of the planet’s shocking climate change and is thoroughly absorbing to watch.

What’s it all about?
Directed by Jeff Orlowski, Chasing Ice follows the acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog on his quest to document global warming and the planet’s intense climate change through his Extreme Ice Survey. Deploying 25 cameras in Alaska, Iceland and Greenland, among other places, James astonishingly managed to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing icecaps to reveal the shocking and catastrophic consequences of our everyday behaviour. Chasing Ice follows James and his team on their journey and presents their findings in both a personal and factual way.

The Good
Well edited and wholly absorbing, Chasing Ice is extremely efficient in its 76 minute account of what global warming is causing our planet to do. Presenting numerous photographs of various places around the globe to show how they’ve severely altered over the last few years, Chasing Ice is incredibly effective and successfully manages to make you sit up and think.

Capturing it all intensely, Orlowski is frank with his directing, never missing a beat and allowing us to see the intense struggle of a team’s dedication to show how the landscape is altering at a frightening velocity. The score is ironically tranquil, but appropriate (the film bows out with the pertinent ‘Before My Time’ gorgeously sung by Scarlett Johansson) and the cinematography is undeniably breathtaking, presenting otherworldly destinations that are practically surreal and godlike to look at.

The Great
Despite the eye-opening evidence and shocking facts of what exactly is happening to our planet, what’s perhaps most fascinating is the true dedication of one man’s ambition to document it all. Balog literally puts his life at incredible risk in dangerous subzero conditions just to convince his audience of the planet’s dire fate and the shots of him abseiling down bottomless glaciers are enough to give you vertigo.

Worth seeing?
Thought provoking and educational, Chasing Ice is an incredibly fascinating documentary and an impressive feature film debut from filmmaker Jeff Orlowski. This is not to be missed.

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Chasing Ice (12A)
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