Movie review: Chasing Ice

From the December 6, 2012 edition

In 2006, Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” was hailed for calling attention to climate change. Years later, there’s still public debate — though not much among the scientific community.

“Chasing Ice” is another documentary that hopes to usher in less debate and more action. It’s part science lesson, but mostly a sweeping, often gorgeous nature film.

The film chronicles photographer James Balog’s project to document melting glaciers. If watching ice melt sounds as interesting as, well, watching paint dry, give this a chance.

Balog’s painstaking work in setting up elaborate time-lapse photos isn’t just because he feels this is a great photo project. He aims for this to be the smoking gun, a visual that even the deniers would have a hard time denying.

Visually, “Chasing Ice” is the sort of treat that calls for big-screen treatment. It’s not all time-lapse, either. His crew managed to capture some spectacular moments that are breathtaking.

There is a bit of loss of focus as the film moves between its science lesson and the focus on Balog, but if this topic interests you (and those recent 65-degree December Ohio days mean it should), it’s best experienced in a theater.