Antarctica: A Year On Ice

Directed by Anthony Powell
  • New Zealand
  • 92 minutes
  • 2013

Antarctica is the world’s toughest environment – colder, higher and drier than anywhere else on earth – and less than 1000 souls are hardy enough to endure the winter there and spend a full year on the continent.

Among them is Anthony Powell, a New Zealand dairy farmer turned time-lapse photographer who for over ten years has documented life in Antarctica to create this portrait of life lived in the most isolated of environments. Powell interviews the ordinary workers of Antarctica who voluntarily remain trapped throughout the winter after the last plane leaves the continent. During these coldest months they somehow maintain good spirits as they deal with unimaginably extreme weather, living far from their loved ones and without sunshine for four months.

The real stars of this unique film, however, are the breathtaking and incredibly moving time-lapse images that must be among the most stunning to ever appear in a documentary film, and Powell himself, whose enduring wonder at the beauty of his harsh surroundings is charming in the extreme.

Ross Whitaker

‘an extraordinary achievement that reinvigorates our sense of wonder about the natural world.
Make a point of seeing it.’
New Zealand Herald