Cannes Review – Ice and the Sky

French exploratory scientist Claude Lorius is the focus of this documentary by Luc Jacquet. As Loruis reflects on his life and achievements, the audience learns about his 22 missions of Antarctica, during which his research led him to some startling realisations.

The Closing film of the Cannes Film Festival 2015, Ice and the Sky is a film that explores, through Lorius’ reflections on his life and career, the impact that humankind is having on the planet we live on. The film is startlingly beautiful, expertly and simply shot with soaring shots over the Antarctic ice. This is combined with Lorius’ own footage, shot over the course of his many trips to the continent.

Lorius narrates the film, carefully outlining the state of the world after World War II, when he first went to Antarctica, his experiences there and the information he discovered. Lorius reveals that, through his examination of the ice shelves, he was one of the first to discover that climate change is a real and serious issue affecting the planet.

Much of the film is taken up with Lorius explaining his experiments, but this is done in a simple and humble manner, which never talks down to the audience but never expects too much knowledge on our part. This makes Ice and the Sky an engaging human story with a sting in the tail for humanity as a species.

Lorius is a fascinating subject for the film, and his seeming despair at the fate we are subjecting our home to is a powerful one. Ice and the Sky is beautifully shot, never overtly preachy and gently opens the question to the audience; what are we going to do?

Rating: 4/5

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