Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson have been filming the arctic for more than twenty years. Now, for the first time, they're telling a story of their own. Arcitc Tale will be hitting theaters next month and is expected to draw huge crowds of all ages. Adam and Sarah were kind enough to talk with me last week to give me some insights on this marvelous new film. I'm proud to have them as this week's EcoGeek(s) of the Week.
Arctic Tale is a coming of age story about a polar bear cub and a walrus calf. The story of these characters lives over three years is constructed from Sarah and Adam's footage and decades of experience. But whereas the villain in The March of the Penguins was a noble albatross, Arctic Tale's villain is much more sinister: climate change.
As our protagonists grow, they discover that the lessons taught to them by their parents are becoming less and less applicable in this new warm world.
Sarah says that she sees the film as more than education, but also more than activism. The film makers obviously see a lesson that must be learned here...and an EcoGeeky lesson at that.
As Nanu the bear and Seela the walrus encounter new and difficult situations, they learn, adapt and change in order to survive. Sarah tells me that we, as humans, will be required to do the exact same thing in this changing world. The moral, in short, is that we aren't quite dead yet, and just like walruses and polar bears, we're going to have to change, make some difficult decisions, and even go against tradition to make it out alive.
Of course, my favorite question to ask any EcoGeek is "What scares your pants off and what gives you hope." For that question, Sarah took the first half and Adam took the second.
The scariest thing, they say, is how fast these changes are happening. Just in the last five years there have been radical changes in ice flows in the Arctic. With rapid changes like this, it's hard to see how animals can adapt quickly enough to prevent permanent ecological damage.
Adam, on the other hand was happy to announce that his glass was perpetually half full. Life finds a way. And as any EcoGeek will tell you, the power of the human brain to get itself out of a sticky situation is unparalleled.
With Adam and Sarah at the helm, Arctic Tale will, of course, be visually stunning. But this new sort of creative non-fiction film, I think, will also give young people a reason to care, and adults, a reason to hope.
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