REVIEW: Chasing Ice

7 11 2012

I’d like to formally put forward “Chasing Ice” for your consideration, Oscar voters, in the category of Best Visual Effects. Those glaciers falling into the ocean rival the work of the team who gave us “Inception.”  I mean, they look so natural!

Oh … wait, they are natural.  It’s easy to get caught up in spectacle when watching a film, but Jeff Orlowski’s documentary on climate change is not using any effects shots.  Just reality.  And that makes for one jaw-dropping and jarring watch.

His chronicle of photographer James Balog, a photographer whose pictures attempt to capture the effects humans have on nature, might not be a great biography of a man, nor a particularly interesting procedural of how cumbersome those photos are to take.  However, it’s a horrifying portrait of global warming filled with haunting and incontrovertible evidence of melting glaciers.

For those who did not quite buy into man-made climate change from Al Gore’s didactic lecturing in “An Inconvenient Truth,” Orlowski lets the images do all the persuading.  Aside from a few montages of climate change deniers, we are never really indoctrinated or forcefully told what to believe.  But darned if you don’t walk away a believer in the danger of climate change.

Balog’s pictures show the scary effects of our heating globe in the visible form of receding and disappearing glaciers.  They will jolt you into action.  I dare you to think twice about not recycling something after seeing “Chasing Ice.”  And I dare anyone who sees this movie to not feel the need to take action – so I would love there to be a high-profile guest list for a screening in our nation’s capitol.  B+

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