New Zealand / 2001 / 50'

The polar regions share the worst weather and coldest seasons in the world, yet people choose to live there. Their stories reveal the strange attractions of these harsh and unforgiving environments of long sunless winters, raging storms and temperatures plunging below minus forty. The film introduces us to the young scientist Emma Turner on her first visit to Antarctica to study seals during the brief summer. Summer in Antarctica means winter in the Arctic and here, despite the appalling conditions, the oil companies work through the year. On the edge of the Arctic Ocean the black gold has brought about some changes in the small settlement of the Inupiat who, nevertheless, in spring, leave for the whale hunt, a resource that has helped them survive where most would perish. The documentary also shows us the Saami reindeer herders in northern Europe, and the Inuits in the new territory of Nunavit celebrating their independence. Then we return to the Antarctica where Emma and the other scientists are preparing to leave their camps until next summer. The two poles are really poles apart, linked only by their harsh climates and the people with a passion for these worlds of ice.



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