Trailer: Into the Ice

November 9, 2022



Into the Ice is the first feature-length documentary by Lars Ostenfeld, an expert scientific and naturalistic documentary-maker and the author of – among other works – various episodes of the series Wild, Wonderful Denmark and Live from Space broadcast by DRTV, which takes us on a bold but troubling journey into the world of climate change. “It’s an exciting idea to think that we can see our future in the ice”, Ostenfeld muses at the beginning of the film, as he trudges across a white expanse with his huge 12-kilo ARRI Amira camera. “It might become your past if you’re not careful”, warns his sound technician Casper Haarløv.

The director’s idea of maintaining a certain sense of humour while transporting the viewer on this adventure, without rattling off tedious data, is a good one, even when it’s time to drop into a dark 180m-deep crevasse or withstand 40-knot winds in a tiny tent. In making his film, Ostenfeld wanted to follow an “adventure on the ice”-style fiction film screenplay, with real heroes as his protagonists. It’s for this reason that he’s followed three important glaciologists across the Greenland ice sheet, who love to work in the field rather than solely relying on airborne laser scanning in order to understand the extent of the climate crisis and its implications for the future. The individuals in question are Alun Hubbard, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Jason Box, each of whom brings different approaches and perspectives. Dahl-Jensen, the leader of one of the world’s most ambitious international scientific projects, drills into the ice and goes backwards in time to understand the structure and dynamics of the flux by observing subatomic particles trapped 11,000 years ago: “in reality, we don’t know how much the sea level will have risen by 2100. By 16 cm or 1.2m.?” Hubbard lowers himself into the ice, into the so-called “moulins” (gigantic holes in the ice sheet which carry meltwater to the ocean), while Jason Box observes and analyses the surface.

Hubbard and Box aren’t phased by risk in their determination to get to grips with the situation. “Wow, the icicles on these walls are really trippy”, Hubbard jokes as he drops into the crevasse. Jason Box has a sense of humour too, but then he speaks on a serious note about the “burden of awareness” of this “disaster in slow motion” which keeps him up at night. Within our children’s lifetimes, the temperature and level of the seas will rise more and more quickly until the world becomes unrecognisable. What was once considered a sci-fi scenario, the director concludes, is fast becoming reality. Which is why we need to listen to the scientists and refuse to delay any longer.


One Response to “Trailer: Into the Ice”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Looks like it would be great on a big screen.
    (I haven’t been in a movie theater since about 2003.)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: