On Thin Ice

52' / HD 

Russia. Roughly two thirds of the Arctic belong to the world’s largest country. Here, Siberia alone has the size of Australia. An enormous chunk of cold land framed by icy seas. Large areas of Northern Russia used to be no-go zones for decades. For the first time scientists from all over the world are beginning to explore this huge area and what they find is alarming. Gigantic canyons, “megaslumps”, are opening up where used to be endless taiga forest. Enormous layers of permafrost are thawing out and revealing remains of the ancient Siberian megafauna. Hundreds of scary looking holes are blasting-off from the deep to exhale Methane, which has 80 times stronger greenhouse effects than carbon dioxide. Nobody has ever witnessed their actual genesis. Rivers loose water and large dunes in dry riverbeds make parts of Central Siberia look like the Sahara. Forest fires are rushing over the taiga every year and the once ice-locked Northeast Passage becomes navigable. The destiny of many wildlife populations is at stake. Wild reindeer change their annually migration. Desperate for food, polar bears are rambling through villages and even cities. The reproduction rate of the rare Arctic Ivory gull is decreasing. Last but not least, the life of arctic reindeer herders, barely changed for thousands of years, is under pressure. Their livelihoods are virtually melting away. In the Russian Arctic, climate change is not a question anymore. It is happening now and at a worrying pace. Scientists say that the tipping point was already reached years ago. Now, Pandora’s box has been opened. The fate of people and wildlife is at stake as is the entire Arctic. Gripping imagery and stories from one of the remotest areas of the world.

 The release of 'On Thin Ice' is planned for Spring 2020.

Producer: Altayfilm
Production year: 2020
Broadcasters: MDR, arte
Languages: English, German, French

Screener currently in production.