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Chasing Ice

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Balog, Svavar Jonatansson
  • Directors: Jeff Orlowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: September 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,946 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chasing Ice" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.


Visually breathtaking. --Variety

Stunning…Timely…A solitary quest with global implications. --The New York Times

Hauntingly beautiful. --Huffington Post

Customer Reviews

Global warming is real.
People like me who live in Alaska are aware of the changes happening.
Karen Rode
AMAZING film with breathtaking photography.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2013
Format: DVD
In 2007 James Balog started a multi-year initiative called "Extre Ice Survey" (or EIS), targeting glaciers in Iceland, Greenland and Alaska where he placed about two dozen cameras to document what is happening to glaciers around the world. Director Jeff Orlowski and his team tagged along and the results of this were captured in a documentary called "Chasing Ice". It played very briefly here in SW Ohio a few months back and I missed it but I finally had a chance to see it last month at the West End Cinema in Washington DC.

"Chasing Ice" (2012 release; 76 min.) feels like a National Geogprahic special, and this is not a surprise (nor a complaint) in that James Balog started a pre-EIS project in partnership with National Geographic. Once it became clear to Balog that this could be something very special, the project was expanded into what would become the EIS. This movie was shot over a period of almost 4 years, and the patience with which this movie came about really pays off. If you think this is some one-man show, you will be surprised to see how many people became involved with this, and what the techological challenges were and how they would need to overcome (the most obvious one being: how to shelter the cameras from the relentless weather elements). Once the cameras are positioned, they were to make photographs every 30 min. during the daylight hours. When you collect the thousands of pictures into a time-lapse film, the results are nothing short of astonishing. In addition to the time-lapse photography, there is various video footage as well.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Wayne West on April 20, 2013
Format: DVD
We saw this film last night as part of the Honor Student program at New Mexico State University. As a photographer with over 30 years experience, I would so love to have an opportunity to go to these places and shoot some of these images for myself. The visual splendor is nothing short of amazing for both the time-lapse and the live video, and it's well worth seeing just for the visuals.

For climate change skeptics, there are two excellent points in the film. The first is that the photographer himself, James Balog, was skeptical. He trained in geology and didn't see how man-made changes could affect the huge machine that the planet is. He changed his mind. The second is a Canadian Yukon glacier scientist. They've been studying glaciers in the Yukon for something on the order of 150 years. He admits that four glaciers have actually grown over the last 50 years, but half of the remaining have disappeared entirely and the other half have shrunk.

But if this movie doesn't make you re-evaluate your stand that global climate change is not real, then I think you're probably a lost cause.

A very sobering, very beautiful film. I can't wait for it to release on September 10.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Hutt on February 9, 2013
Format: DVD
We just saw this at our local film festival. While it should be seen on a big screen with great sound, if you like real stories with purpose and beauty, do not miss this one. We own fewer than 10 DVDs. This is one worth owning. This is the history of our time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By drqshadow on June 25, 2013
Format: DVD
Noted photog and National Geographic contributor James Balog leads us on a tour of the glacial north in this stirringly-framed argument against the sins of global warming. It's a three-pronged picture, stuffing a biography, research paper and technical adventure into one seventy-minute package, and often feels scattered as a result. The science makes for interesting brain food and Balog's personal journey is unique, if a bit overplayed, but the real show-stoppers are his long-form time lapses and breath-stealing snapshots of nature at its most profound. The centerpiece of this film, and of his argument, are a series of three-year-long panoramas in which we clearly watch several glaciers shrink and recede at an alarming rate; a convincing testament to both the presence and speed of the global melt. Though Chasing Ice can certainly be accused of getting caught up in its own self-importance (or lost in the data), those lingering tastes of proof are worth waiting for and the constant presence of Balog's powerful photo portfolio makes the ride there especially sweet.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 29, 2013
Format: DVD
Chasing Ice (Jeff Orlowski, 2012)

Towards the end of this movie, there is an interview with a former Shell employee who, upon being exposed to James Balog's work, quit his job spin doctoring for Big Oil and went to work for the dark side. I do not know this for certain, but I am going to take an educated guess that that particular interview has been savaged by the so-called conservatives who attack the science of climate change on a regular basis. (The reason I say "so-called conservatives" is beyond the scope of this review, but to oversimplify, "orthodox religious" and "conservative" are mutually exclusive terms; it is impossible to base your arguments solely on reason when your thinking is driven by faith, which is by definition the antithesis of reason.) I am here to tell you that yes, it is possible.

I was not a believer in climate change. One of my favorite stories comes from an ex-Navy friend of mine who used to pilot submarines. (Tough living, huh?) In the early nineties, he and his crew hosted Al Gore, and they took him on a cruise up around the coast of Alaska. He came back the next year, so said friend tells me, and wanted to take that same trip so he could gauge the effects of climate change on the glaciers. We always had quite a laugh at that one. Well, more fool us, because here comes James Balog with photographic evidence of the amount of loss a number of major glaciers in America and western Europe have undergone over a four-year period from 2007 to 2011. And it's the simplest play in the book: seeing is believing. To put this in the kindest terms I can think of: if you come away from this movie doubting climate change, you have your head somewhere that the light can't reach it.
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