A new documentary film series is part crazy sailing adventure and part environmental film showing the rapid and drastic changes taking place in the Arctic due to warming and changing climate.
The Primitive Films documentary, in cooperation with DEEP 360, and collaboration with TV Ontario, the Knowledge Network in British Columbia, and ARTE/ZDF in Europe, documents an attempt by amateur sailors from Sweden to sail a small pleasure craft through the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada.
It will be presented in ten one-hour episodes over a two-week period starting December 1st in Canada, Germany and France.
McMahon says such a trip would have been impossible a couple of decades ago, is dangerous now, but in a couple decades more, may possibly be far easier with ever decreasing ice conditions.
But as he points out, the series is interspersed with interviews with scientists studying climate change, and with people, young and old in the various high Arctic communities and how they see their lives already affected by changing climate and what the future may hold, and with northern artists expressing their feelings on changes through their art.
McMahon says of the four month filming project that working in the Arctic is still extremely challenging due to distances, remoteness, physical difficulties for people and equipment, and aslo some social challenges.
He says however that the Arctic shown in the film is not like what people expect, in part because climate change has caused physical changes so that “this” Arctic hasn’t really existed in this form before. and that the changes people will see, are profound and ongoing.
The full series video will be available as of December 1st across Canada on the TVO website and in Europe on the ARTE website.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Web doc sheds light on Inuit relocation in Arctic Canada, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finnish broadcaster slammed for Sami TV news, Yle News
United States: Alaska documentary chronicles one family’s remote cabin adventure, Alaska Dispatch