Antarctica

Antarctica

A Year on Ice

Streaming Video - 2015
Average Rating:
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ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE is a visually stunning journey to the end of the world. Guided by nature photographer Anthony Powell, we experience firsthand the beauty and brutality of the most severe environment on Earth along with the hardy and devoted people who call it home year-round.
Publisher: [United States] : Music Box Films : Made available through hoopla, 2015.
Branch Call Number: E-VIDEO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 92 min.)) : sd., col.
Alternative Title: Year on ice

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This documentary is light on the science and the natural history of Antarctica. It's a study of the everyday working people -- the store clerks, the firemen, the administrative workers -- who stay at McMurdo Station year round. The filmmaker, a communications satellite engineer, is one of those workers. He is also a brilliant photographer. The time-lapse images he captures are the backbone of the documentary. Since the Ross Ice Shelf, where McMurdo is situated, is at the cutting edge of the climate change debate, it would have been nice to be have been provided at least a snapshot of what is happening there -- the California-sized sheet of ice appears to be rapidly disintegrating to the point that a global sea-level rise of six feet by the end of the century is a distinct possibility. Sea-level rise of this magnitude would necessitate a migration so vast to the interior that civilization as we know it would likely end.

k
kpelish
May 12, 2017

The director spent over 10 years carefully creating this story of what it's like to live in Antarctica, at the big U.S. base of McMurdo Station. The New Zealand outpost of Scott Base is nearby, and the country of New Zealand provides the airbase portal that connects people to this harsh land. He draws a sharp distinction between those who stay just for the summer (pop. 5000), and those who brave the looooong winter, storms and all (pop. 700). Beautiful photography, savvy troubleshooting of how to stop a camera from freezing in -40 F below weather, respectful treatment of nature & wildlife, mostly well-done interviews (there's a bit of condescension in a couple of the Winterers about how others just can't hack it), and a poignant/funny inclusion of how other nations with outposts manage their winter sojourns. What also hits home is how oil and technology make this environment livable for humans. Watch the Extras section for how Shackleton and his crew managed to survive in flimsy wooden cabins, now restored.

1
1957Rick
Feb 06, 2017

Great movie with great cinematography. I learned a lot about Antarctica and the people who live there year round. We found it to be simply astounding. I wish I could visit the place for a couple of weeks or so.

l
LittleNoName
Sep 13, 2016

Kinda drug on but informative.

t
thebritlass
Mar 18, 2016

Quite informative and really enjoyable, with absolutely stunning images and interesting facts scattered throughout - you gain a new appreciation for a fascinating and beautiful part of the world that most of us will never visit.

k
Keogh
Dec 19, 2015

Spectacular cinematography can be found in this documentary about the lives of those people who spend time working at the proverbial end of the world in Antarctica over a year. The ways people deal with the prolonged isolation and extreme changes is examined, as are the way they relate, and their world views. All in all, quite enlightening.

f
Fionaenzo
Sep 24, 2015

I want to work there! I love extremes - and the visual beauty. The intensity was amazing.

teddypawz Jul 31, 2015

I agree with everything said by other commenters, except jpozenel. I also liked the line, "never confuse your pee bottle with your water bottle." Bet you won't make that mistake twice! I also agree with one person being interviewed stated the fact of watching all the violence here at home with other nations. In Antartica a lot of nations get along perfectly and I believe we could learn a thing or two from their examples. Kudos. 5 stars

harrybrowne Jun 25, 2015

Outstanding documentary. Absolutely captivating. Beautiful, haunting musical score; spectacular scenery; some sad moments and many humorous moments.

Best line: "...never confuse your pee bottle with your water bottle."

Words to live by.

ChristyH Jun 10, 2015

If you've every wondered what it would be like to live in Antarctica for a year you should watch this movie. It was really interesting to learn about the lives of the people who live there, many of whom are performing not very exciting or scientific jobs, to keep the settlements going. The photography is also amazing!

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