In a sane world, Ice on Fire wouldn’t exist. Mass global audiences would’ve been woken up by the comprehensive climate change warnings of An Inconvenient Truth back in 2006, rather than simply stirring in their sleep, and done the necessary to save our planet. But if one thing has never been clearer, it’s that we are not living in a sane world.
Anyone without their eyes stubbornly closed is already aware of the broad strokes of our planet’s climate emergency and how we got here, so director Leila Conners wastes little time on explaining it again. Instead, she focuses on the urgency of this moment as we approach lethal climate tipping points and the work that countless scientists, engineers, and farmers are doing to hold them back.
This call to arms needs to be heard by the world, so the messaging is appropriately broad and direct. As a result, if you’re familiar with climate issues some sections can feel a little simplistic, but mostly it’s a rare pleasure to hear experts in their field talk intelligently about such complex topics. Nearly all the contributors are eloquent and engaging, making this feel like the best crash course science lesson you ever had.
The mood swings from depressing to hopeful, with Conners unafraid to emphasise just how close the world is to ruin, and how we might still be able to pull it back.
The filmmaking is simple, with talking heads crosscut opposite drone shots of beautiful endangered landscapes. In a way though this doesn’t matter: Ice on Fire is a piece of propaganda in the most honest, vital way. Its purpose is to make people believe in climate change and change their lifestyles. Ice on Fire may not be a great piece of cinema, but it serves its purpose well enough.
CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio (voice)
DIRECTOR: Leila Conners
SYNOPSIS: An eye-opening documentary that focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis.