The Sundance Award-winning film Chasing Ice features the work of National Geographic photographer James Balog and his quest to capture time-lapse images of glaciers melting as a result of undeniable climate change.
Politics and skepticism aside, this documentary captures a breathtaking landscape and can be described as nothing less than a photographic masterpiece of rarely seen images and world events. Early in his photography career, Balog learned the lesson that a beautiful picture tells a far more powerful story than pages of data or lectures on theories. Fast-forward through his illustrious career at NatGeo and Balog's pictures indeed speak for themselves, challenging the haphazard ways we interact with our environment. Jeff Orlowski’s documentary makes Balog’s photos (and his passion for the future of our globe) come to life in a gripping, breath-taking and unforgettable film.
With hundreds of thousands of photos captured in time-lapse sequences over the period of multiple years, there is no denying the radical change that places like Greenland, Alaska, and even Montana, are undergoing. Like other climate change films, this one has a strong ask accompanying it--reduce your carbon footprint, get in touch with policy makers, spread the message, volunteer. Yet, unlike other films, the images in this film stick with you, leaving a lasting impression and, furthermore, making us question what we need to do to secure the future of our planet.
“If I hadn’t seen it in the pictures, I wouldn’t have believed it at all,” said Balog at one point in the film. I can say that I--and most people who see this film--would agree.
About the Deep Focus Series:
The Deep Focus weekly blog series will uncover recently released, influential documentary films that are serving as change agents around the world. The series will go beyond a film review and will unpack ways the audience can become part of the story. Documentary films with a social message are charged with the unique ability to challenge the way we think about the world. Filmmakers are not only telling a powerful story but also challenging reality.