Under Thin Ice

  • Mountainfilm

In its report from 2018 the American National Academy of Sciences issued a warning: The melting polar poles could raise sea levels by more than two meters, driving more than 187 million residents of the coastal zones out of their homes – within the next three generations. What exactly does that mean for nature and animals in the Arctic right now?




85 min


Denis Blaquière


In search of answers extreme divers Jill Heinerth and Mario Cyr venture a dangerous expedition into the Arctic Ocean. In captivating pictures, UNDER THIN ICE documents the progressing decline of one of the planet’s most precious ecosystems: Since 1980 the Arctic has lost almost a third of its summer ice and the dwindling sea ice cover turns shooting in Canada and Greenland into a race against time: Jill and Mario’s camp in Lancaster Sound is flooded by meltwater and gigantic cracks are barring the way to their diving spot. In southern Hudson Bay, they meet polar bears that are desperately looking for food – with more and more ice floes melting, their prey the seals have been vanishing too. Greenland’s largest glacier Jakobshavn has retreated fifteen kilometers into the inland over the last 20 years, and the flocks of melting icebergs are weakening the Gulf Stream. The consequences are felt not only by the inhabitants of the Arctic: A weak Gulf Stream brings extreme weather to Europe and thus the effects of climate change right on our doorstep.

Directed and written by
Denis Blaquière

Produced by
Natalie Dubois
Kerstin Meyer-Beetz

Assistant Producer
Julia Krampe

Director of Photography
Geoffroy Beauchemin

Alain Belhumeur

Marco Fania

Production Managers
Gloria Straccini
Xavier Agudo

Line Producer
Kathrin Isberner

Commissioning Editor
Ute Hoffarth (SWR)

Executive Producers
Christian Beetz 
Arnie Gelbart
Mario Cyr

Under Thin Ice
  • „Just in diesem Moment überraschen uns die aus dem Theaterbereich stammenden jungen Regisseure Hans Block und Moritz Riesewieck mit einem erstaunlichen Dokumentarfilm, der seit Monaten Publikum und Kritik auf den wichtigsten Festivals der Welt elektrisiert. Völlig zu Recht: Es ist, als würden einem die Scheuklappen weggerissen, als sähe man das, was sich seit Jahren direkt vor unseren Augen abspielt, zum ersten Mal unverschleiert... eine fesselnde ,Doku noir' mit höchstem Anspruch...Dieser Film müsste an allen Schulen gezeigt werden.“
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In co-production with

  • Saloon Media
  • documentary channel
  • WDR

In association with

  • arte

Supported by

  • Canada Media Fund
  • Ontario Creates