Chasing Ice (2012)
"The story is in the ice," says National Geographic photographer James Balog. This eighty-minute documentary follows Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), in which his team placed twenty-five time lapse cameras among the glaciers of Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, and Montana. For those who don't find complicated statistics and computer modeling about climate change compelling, Balog's images are powerful testimonies of how global warming is melting glaciers at an alarming rate. The "before and after" photos are shocking. The film loses its way a bit with its hero worship of Balog. His team travels to remote and harsh places by helicopter, dog sled, canoe, and crampons, they solve complicated technological problems, are separated from their families for long periods, and then lament their aches and pains in their tents at night, all for their noble cause. And as I left the theater, two volunteers were passing out brochures to viewers. The film works more as symbolic image than hard science, but that's still important. For some of Balog's still photos see his article in National Geographic called "The Big Thaw." click here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/06/big-thaw/big-thaw-text.