Black Ice

201452 minutes

When a Greenpeace ship set sail to protest the first oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, no-one on board could have known what was coming. Seized at gunpoint and detained as pirates, the fate of the 'Arctic 30' sparked a bitter international dispute.
"I ran out on deck, and from that moment on I was in the middle of a James Bond movie." Dima Litvinov, a campaigner aboard the Arctic Sunrise, describes the moment Russian paratroopers were helidropped onto the bow of the ship. "It was such a bizarre thing to see, a gun pointing at you. I maybe couldn't even take it seriously because it just felt so wrong."
As the sheet ice melts around the northernmost region of the world, oil companies spy an opportunity to explore the rich deposits that lie beneath. "What we're seeing is certain Western firms believing they can get into the Arctic, through lower safety standards, by partnering with Russian ones", explains the Director of Greenpeace International. Fearing a new oil rush, activists from the organisation were in the area to demonstrate at an offshore rig. The Russian authorities, however, had other ideas.
"Welcome to your new home." One crew member recalls the greeting he received upon entering Murmansk prison. "You'll be spending quite a long time here." Their detention, which saw worldwide media cast the Arctic 30 in the same mold as Pussy Riot and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ironically afforded them a platform higher than any found in the Arctic Ocean. But in spite of the legal and political blizzard it stirred up, they ultimately failed to achieve their goal: Prirazlomnaya, the well operated by Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, is now fully operational.
"The Arctic is this baby they're raising -- just like space was for the Soviet Union." Complete with never-before-seen footage of the controversial events, 'Black Ice' brings you a candid first-hand account of the most ruthless response from a national government against an NGO in a quarter of a century.
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Additional Information

Audio language
English [Stereo]
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
Run time
52 minutes
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