Ice People


Ice People (2008)


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Movie Info

While the mainstream world rolls on indefinitely, a small group of researchers traverses the snow-capped region around the South Pole for months at a time. Working in constant sunlight yet subthermal conditions, these collegiate scientists (the "Ice People" of the title) search aggressively for lingering geological traces of an ancient world now obscured by thick layers of ice. Thus begins Anne Aghion's deliberate, observational documentary, which carries the audience on a day-to-day journey with its subjects. The geological team consists of two undergraduate students and two highly esteemed professors; though they are all but cut off from the rest of the world, they experience a tremendous sense of rapport and intimacy with one another, almost by default. The men and women also soak up the terrestrial splendor of the surrounding environs, yet struggle to adjust, emotionally, to the prospect of 24-hour sunlight. They remain steadfast in their commitments to their work, however, and in their undying need to unveil evidence that will impart even a passing glimpse into a history of long ago.

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Critic Reviews for Ice People

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

The film's hesitation, lack of rhetorical inflation and commitment to humble observation generate a tough poetry. Ice People sticks in the mind.

May 1, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

With its lack of narration and subjective distance, the film is a uniquely meditative, psychological portrait of individuals who approach scientific exploration with the passion and fervor of artists.

May 1, 2009 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

In this painstaking, body-numbing work, finding one perfect leaf fossil is a palpable thrill.

Apr 29, 2009
Top Critic

The director, Anne Aghion, likes to fill the screen with the kinds of lonely landscapes that David Lean once used to suggest another kind of desert.

Apr 29, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

Small moments of beauty -- a helicopter landing in a self-created snowstorm -- don't compensate for the overall dullness.

Apr 28, 2009 | Full Review…

The payoff is relative and internal.

May 1, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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