The French glaciologist Claude Lorius is little known, at least in the Czech Republic. As Radka Urbancová from the distribution company Aerofilms said aptly: “He doesn’t even have his own entry on the Czech Wikipedia.” But in fact, he is one of the most renowned scientists focused on climate change. His expeditions to Antarctica and research conducted there have led to the discovery of global warming. Documentary Ice and the Sky premiered in 2015. Claude Lorius is the main protagonist of the film.
The film Ice and the Sky (La glace et le ciel, 2015) was created by a French documentarist Luc Jaquet, another frequent visitor of the most southern continent on our planet. His local interest as an ethology and ornithology student was focused on studying penguins, but gradually he was leaning towards cinematography. He utilised his research experience into several films, foremost into the Oscar-winning documentary March of the Penguins and its sequel March of the Penguins: The Call. Mainly his first film had an enormous success among viewers and earned over 120 million dollars worldwide.
The paths of two men divided by generation and profession, but united by their interest in Antarctica met in the film Ice and the Sky. The main plot of the documentary is a fascinating story about a young twenty-three-year-old man, who set off to the previously uncharted areas of freezing Antarctica. The region impressed him so deeply that he returned there numerously in his life and together with his colleagues from different parts of the world eventually made a discovery that fundamentally changed our view on the impact of human activity on the planet Earth. Another level of the documentary is a pressing warning – don’t be sceptical, don’t ignore proven results of scientific studies, take global warming seriously.
The main components of the documentary are the unique archive materials from Lorius’ expeditions to places that are extremely hostile to any human visitor. Those materials are accompanied by the voice-over of the scientist himself resembling a “captain’s journal”. The protagonist also frames the entire project by new footage filmed especially for the documentary. Lorius returns to places that have always been dear to him and he shares his memories and concerns about the state of knowledge about our planet he reached after years of researching. The archive materials are combined with impressive, modern fly-by shots of photogenic ice plains of Antarctica, which create a contrast with forests devastated by fire.
The multi-stylised and imaginative odyssey to the history of the planet Earth’s climate and the stunning hymn about pioneers and explorers who made this journey can be best enjoyed on the big screen with top-class sound system. And AFO Cinema provides a unique opportunity to do that. The film concluded the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and was introduced by Academia Film Olomouc a year later and now you can see it once again on 11 December 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Metropol Cinema in Olomouc.
Author: Tomáš Poštulka
Editor: Nikol Láryšová