Skip to content

Chasing Ice

2013 June 2
by Carter_Soles

Jeff Orlowski’s compelling documentary Chasing Ice (2012), about James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) project, seemed to be a film many folks had already seen and were buzzing about at the ASLE 2013 Biennial Conference just passed. This visually stunning film is extremely worthwhile viewing for anyone interested in photographic and cinematic representation of climate change, environmental justice issues, and/or the role mass media plays in raising ecological awareness on a broad scale.

Chasing Ice (2012) Official Trailer

Does Chasing Ice get a little hero-worshippy in its attitude toward Balog, using pathos-laden interviews with his daughter, wife, and coworkers to frame him as a world-saving hero? Surely. Does the film thereby evince that disquieting Hollywood tendency to reduce systemic ecological concerns to an overly individualistic, possibly too  romantic, human scale? Probably so, at least in some small measure. But is Chasing Ice also an impactful, affecting documentary about the urgent need to accept and address the realities of global climate change? Absolutely.

What most interests me as a scholar and fan of visual media is Balog’s (and the film’s) insistence that images, photography, and cinema play a crucial role in swaying public opinion on matters of global concern that still provoke resistance and denial in many segments of our society.  Orlowski’s film both documents and exemplifies the role potent visuals can play in making ecological arguments to wide audiences.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS