March Of The Penguins enraptured audiences worldwide and won its French director an Oscar. Now, Luc Jacquet is back with another film set in Antarctica – one that promises to have a very different impact on cinema-goers, even if it does still feature some penguins. The director has spoken of his trip to the continent to film the documentary Ice and the Sky about Claude Lorius – the man credited with discovering global warming – and how shocked he was to see the effects of climate change at first hand.

“We didn’t have rain in [many parts] of Antarctica until two or three years ago,” said Jacquet. Now the increase in temperatures means the environment and its inhabitants are experiencing rainfall “for the first time in history”. “In a way, this is very terrible because the animals there are absolutely not adapted to the rain. The penguin chicks are dying because they are so wet that they get cold – they are dying this way.”

There is increasing evidence of the effect that global warming is having on the Antarctic. Last week a Nasa study reported that the last remaining section of the 625-square-mile Larsen B ice shelf, which partially collapsed in 2002, is likely to have disappeared entirely by 2020.

Ice And The Sky will close the 68th Cannes Festival on 24 May, and Jacquet is hoping to use his red carpet screening at the world’s most glamorous festival both to honour Lorius – “the very first to understand something very important for us” – and to draw attention to the devastating consequences of climate change.

For me, this is very important. I am talking about moral aspects of the question. I can’t still tell stories about nature and animals without telling people there is something very important to do to conserve this planet and this wonderful environment. I feel very obliged to do it.”

This first Ice and the Sky trailer is narrated in French, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the cinematography, and the sweep of the filmmaking.

POSTED BY: The Independent /Geoffrey Macnab

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