Bozeman crowd reacts to climate change commentary of ‘Chasing Ice’

The Bozeman Film Festival drew quite a crowd on Friday, March 8 to its screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Chasing Ice.”


The movie chronicles the work of photographer and geomorphologist James Balog directing the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), which observes the changing morphology of glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere due to climate change. Balog used 28 rugged time-lapse cameras to observe 13 glaciers over the course of six years, and the project is still ongoing.


Around 400 people packed the theater at the Emerson Cultural Center and were welcomed by mountaineer Conrad Anker, a friend of Balog. When the credits began rolling at the end of the documentary, the crowd erupted into applause and screams, while some individuals even wiped away tears due to the film’s poignant visuals that display the effects of climate change on our planet’s fragile environment.


A panel discussion following the film included Anker along with Jeff Orlowski, the director of “Chasing Ice;” Julia Olsen, the executive director of Our Children’s Trust, an organization working toward ensuring a healthy planet for our posterity; and Tom Beers, an attorney from Missoula specializing in environmental law. The panel discussed an array of issues ranging from the difficulty of producing the film to the hazards of natural gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing.


At the end of the panel discussion, there were about fifty people left in the theater. Three of them were knitting.

If you are interested in the film, it will be shown on the National Geographic channel in April and will be released on DVD in June.