Chasing Ice Movie Review

Beginning Friday, for a very limited time, you have a chance to see a beautiful independent adventure film. Chasing Ice is a film about the life and death of a glacier. But it’s also about the adventure of a photographer and his crew as they undertake the challenge of capturing the glacier’s story. You only have a week or two to see it, so you’ll have to move quickly, but you’ll want to make room in your schedule for this one. Here’s why.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Orlowski, the director of Chasing Ice, about a month ago when he passed through Seattle on tour to promote this film. After listening to the trials he undertook to create this story, I wanted to see it simply to understand how he had been successful in capturing the intended material.  But I also wanted to see the adventure part of the film. Who doesn’t want to taste that: The crampons and ropes and hanging above an abyss to get “the shot.”

The filmmakers follow James Balog, an internationally acclaimed photographer, in his passionate quest to document the deterioration of several key glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. As a photographer myself, my initial impetus to see this film was getting to see a photographer work with glaciers and capture the beauty of ice on the big screen. That part of the film was an amazing success, and I knew that going in. It has won nearly 20 awards internationally, mostly in cinematography, including Sundance.

Five years of photography and video are braided into a bit of science to demonstrate a piece of climate change. This film works hard to show the massive scale that the film makers captured in the life of glaciers. You will come away from the film in awe of the enormous deterioration and loss of ice, as demonstrated by Balog’s technically executed photos. If you don’t, then I’ll assume, you have done your homework on glacial ice loss, and perhaps should volunteer on Balog’s team. I’m sure he’d love to have you.

The documentary itself definitely creates more questions than answers. It definitely stirs the pot rather than solidifying a call to action, but it’s definitely a gorgeous visual cinematographic work that is worth seeing in the theater rather than waiting for the DVD.

But the main point of a documentary is to get information out and have people help spread it. The team that put forth five years of effort is hoping you’ll come see the movie in the theater, be affected by it, then have your friends do the same. And the hope is that everyone will come to understand that climate change is something that warrants our attention; that our world is changing and dissolving and evaporating before us in short order and we probably can do something about it.

Get your cinematographic view of the disappearing glaciers of our Earth, beginning Friday November 16.

Chasing Ice has a limited release at The Egyptian Theater, 805 East Pine St. Seattle.

You are also invited to get involved and make a difference yourself.

Limited releases in other cities can be found on the Chasing Ice website.

 

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About the author

A native of Minnesota, Erika moved to Seattle in the late 90s and immediately fell in love with the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. She is a photographer, specializing in landscapes, though she enjoys capturing people as well. Her travels have taken her from Newfoundland to Belize, From Paris to Nepal. She has written a book about her trek through Nepal and is the editor of SBM. Erika currently resides in Kirkland with her husband and two sons.

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