Ice And The Sky


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Ice And The Sky
"The film fails to make the blood race"

Sometimes the subject drowns the message in a tsunami of opinion and controversy. It didn't happen with An Inconvenient Truth, but it happens here.

The timing of the release of Luc Jacquet's documentary hits the Paris climate change talks in the solar plexus. This is the story of Antarctica's melt and what it means and why it matters and who the old guy in the blue anorak standing at the foot of a leaky glacier is. He's not moving. He's not waving. He's Claude Lorius.

Copy picture

"I'm 82 years old," he says.

Thanks for that, Claude. What else?

While he is filmed from a helicopter in static mode - little figure, vast icescape - the narrator tells the story of a lifetime of trying to persuade the powers that be how important Antarctica is. And he's not talking about polar bear cubs stuck on ice floes.

Ironically, BBC's Blue Planet that used stunning photography to emphasise the grandeur and beauty of the place said more about the tragedy of its warming than Jacquet and Lorius do in 90 minutes.

Facts are flung. Stats are stacked. Climate change deniers are denied. In cinematic terms the film fails to make the blood race. Obviously there was less money to allow sledloads of photographers loose into the great white, with the result that talky-talky takes over from looky-looky and unless you are a geogenii, or well versed in scientific badinage, your brain might freeze and your comprehension suffer a relapse.

Jacquet made March Of The Penguins for which he won many awards. However there is a difference between Claude ("I'm 82") Lorius and these magnificent birds. One contemplates man's ability to destroy the future and the other concentrates on standing upright in blizzards with an egg between its webs.

Complexity vs simplicity. Who's a winner, baby?

Reviewed on: 08 Dec 2015
Share this with others on...
Documentary about a lifetime's struggle to persuade affluent nations that their energy greed is melting Antarctica which will eventually destroy life as we know it
Amazon link

Director: Luc Jacquet

Writer: Luc Jacquet

Starring: Claude Lorius, narrated by Michel Papineschi

Year: 2015

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: France


Search database: