UNDER THIN ICE

As far as the eye can see, giant pieces of ice clash at the surface of the frigid waters of […]


UNDER THIN ICE

As far as the eye can see, giant pieces of ice clash at the surface of the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean. There is not a sign of life. But just below the surface lies another story : myriads of minute marine creatures are in action; fish, seals and walruses swim around; a beluga approaches, curious; a whale brushes up against us and judges us with its giant eye. And there is even a polar bear, completely submerged, swimming straight for us.

Wider shots reveal that all of these animals are living a new and unusual experience, coming face to face with an underwater alien never seen before : two members of the human race in polar dive gear. It’s Mario Cyr and Jill Heinerth, members of a very select group of divers who specialize in extreme diving, such as in polar seas under the Arctic ice or in the depths of underwater caves.

For decades, Jill and Mario have been first-hand witnesses to the dramatic effects of the warming of the climate which now affects all marine life, from microscopic plankton to 100 ton whales, from the Arctic to the equator. That said, the animals living in the vast ecosystems under the Arctic ice are clearly the most threatened. Their resilience is amazing, but are they at the limit of their ability to adapt? If northern marine life is lost, is life on the planet itself at risk? In search of answers, Mario and Jill launch themselves into a great adventure Under Thin Ice, because the stakes could not be higher.

Writer & Director: Denis Blaquiere
Producer: Arnie Gelbart & Mario Cyr
Coproducer: Christian Beetz
Commissioning Editor SWR / arte: Ute Hoffarth

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