Imagine standing on the edge of a jagged, icy cliff face with sub-zero wind biting your skin as you stare out at one of the natural wonders of the world: the immense and majestic spread of a glacier. It's absolutely breathaking in its magnitude, and you find you can't pull your eyes away until you feel a faint shudder in the ground, and an earsplitting crack followed by what sounds like thunder. The glacier begins to cave in on itself. The ruptured slice of ice drops down, into the sea, causing it to boil and froth as the glacier tumbles over itself, all the while splitting into smaller pieces that submerge and then break the surface of the water once more.
This is but a very small (not to mention tame) glimpse at what National Geographic photographer James Balog and his team of scientists and field coordinators witnessed on the frozen slopes of Western Greenland, where they captured the largest glacier calving ever filmed on May 28, 2008. Balog was sent in 2005 to the northern reaches of the Arctic to document the changes taking place in the earth's climate and succeeded in doing so despite life-threatening conditions and the years the endeavor took. The calving of the Ilulissat Glacier, 3,000 feet high with 300 to 400 feet of its mass floating above the water, lasted a full 75 minutes. Now you have the chance to watch it happen in theaters.
Chasing Ice is the film depicting Balog's efforts and screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. The film was awarded for its excellence in cinematography, and has since received dozens of additional awards from film festivals across the country.
Chasing Ice will be shown in theaters across the world, beginning this month. To see a list of showtimes and theaters playing the film, click here.
Utah Film Center will screen the film at two free events. See it at the Viridian Library, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan, on April 11 at 7 p.m. and Star Hall, 125 E. Center Street, Moab, on April 25 at 7 p.m.