Coming to theatres today, Friday, April 17: ANTARCTIC EDGE: 70° SOUTH
Dena Seidel’s look at the work of climate change researchers had its world premiere at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival last month. It will also screen at the upcoming International Wildlife and Minneapolis film fests.
The latest in a growing group of environmental docs set in polar environments, Seidel’s film follows a team of scientists as they investigate the impact of climate change in Antarctica, spending months at sea to study a wide range of subjects, all ultimately connected to increased carbon levels and the warming of the oceans. These include the dramatic loss of sea ice, and its impact on penguin habitat, with a resultant decline in their population; the effects on krill and other smaller organisms that serve as the primary food for larger animals; and the tracking of various species to determine changes in development, feeding ranges, and behavior. Researchers note the dangers posed by icebergs, tempestuous seas, and equipment failure, as well as the personal sacrifices they make to collect the data they hope will ensure the future. Though attempting to inject some personality via brief profiles of a few scientists, Seidel’s film, made through Rutgers University, remains primarily educational rather than artful as it illustrates the important work being done to make sense of the mess we’ve made of the environment.