Antarctica: A Year on Ice

November 28th, 2014


Antarctica: A Year on Ice

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A visually stunning chronicle of what it is like to live in Antarctica for a full year, including winters isolated from the rest of the world, and enduring months of darkness in the coldest place on Earth.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 7.7/10 (118 voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Anthony Powell

Stars: Anthony Powell, Genevieve Bachman, Michael Christiansen

This feature-length film reveals what it is like to live and work at the bottom of the planet, in Antarctica, for a full year. The story is not from the point of view of scientists, but of the people who spend the most time there; the everyday workers who keep the stations running in the harshest place on the planet. Filmed over 15 years by Frozen Planet photographer Anthony Powell, the film features a unique insiders point of view, with unparalleled access, and never before seen stunning footage of the deep Antarctic winters.

Writers: Anthony Powell, Simon Price

Genevieve Bachman - Herself
Michael Christiansen - Himself
Tom Hamann - Himself
George Lampman - Himself
Peter Lund - Himself
Keri Nelson - Herself
Casey O'Brien - Himself
Anthony Powell - Himself
Christine Powell - Herself
David Prutsman - Himself
Josh Swanson - Himself
Andrew Velman - Himself


Official Website: Official Blog | Official Facebook |

Country: New Zealand

Language: English

Release Date: 28 November 2014

Filming Locations: Antarctica

Box Office Details

Budget: $1,000,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Some shots were taken without knowing exactly what the camera was actually seeing, as the LCD display had frozen solid. See more »


User Review


Rating: 9/10

Watching Antarctica: A Year on Ice, you'll run out of superlatives to describe the experience. Then you'll start using them all again, in combination, and you'll still be unable to adequately describe what you've seen.

This masterpiece of a film was made by Anthony Powell, a Satellite Communications Technician working out of McMurdo Base, the United States station in Antarctica. It's obvious that the film was born of a deep passion for the place, which he and his wife Christine have returned to, whenever possible, year after year.

How do you share your thoughts about a place which defies description - a place vital to our planet, but which the vast majority will never see? Powell began by taking photographs, recording video, documenting life on the base, the idiosyncrasies of those who work there, and the beauty of the landscape. Over the years, whenever not working on the communications equipment he is responsible for, he's been working on techniques for gathering images in unusual and hostile conditions, often refining or even creating his own gear in order to capture the experience of living in Antarctica for a year.

The result is brilliant; by turns funny, terrifying and heartbreaking - but always awe-inspiring. It's not about the cinematography, (although the photography is frequently top-notch, and some of the time-lapse sequences are stunning,) and other than a few matter-of-fact mentions, nor does Powell delve into political or environmental debate. His purpose here is showing the audience what Antarctica is LIKE: how it feels to work there, what it really looks like, what happens there. His success in this endeavour is as superlative as the film.

See Antartctica: A Year on Ice in the cinema - on the biggest screen you can - and then just wonder at it.


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