Antarctica is the most barren continent in the entire world. But even in this barren snowy land live groups of people from various different nations. Taking place a majority of the time at the Ross Island area of the continent, Antarctica: A Year On Ice delves into a years journey of living on the continent.

Director Anthony B. Powell brings a beautiful and breathtaking area to life in this wonderful documentary. We see the many wonders of the landscape, wildlife and the nature of the continent. Unlike anything we have probably ever seen before, Antarctica: A Year On Ice brings forth the hidden gem of a continent. The two seasons, summer where there is constant sunlight and the winter where there is constant darkness, shows us two different sides of the area. The inhabiting workers and scientists on the continent go through many obstacles and emotions during their time, as documented in their interviews. A surprising turn is when the director introduces the subject of “T3 Syndrome,” something that affects many during the harsh winter their. It’s something that other documentaries don’t touch upon, and it’s an interesting thing to learn about.

The main strength of the documentary is the plain and simple beauty of the area. Whether it be a dormant volcano covered in snow, glaciers orthe frozen water around the land, we see first hand how beautiful of an area it is. Intense hurricane like winds during the winter season scenes are amazingly powerful and show the brute force that people have to endure there. The aurora on display at night along with the pitch black sky filled with stars is something to behold. Scenes featuring the wildlife, including penguins and sea lions are adorable and have a funny innocence. It’s also interesting to see the negative effects it has on them, as even the animals sometimes can’t handle the conditions that they live in, and it’s tragic to hear someone say they’re not allowed to interfere with the animals, even if they seem to be in distress. Among the sheer beauty is also the harsh reality, and this documentary does an excellent job of showcasing that.

Is Antarctica: A Year On Ice opening weekend worthy?

If you are a fan of nature documentaries and want to experience the hidden beauty of the worlds coldest continent, then this would be the perfect experience for you. The images and locations shown are extremely breathtaking, enough to make this essential viewing.

Antarctica: A Year On Ice opens Friday, December 12, 2014 at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Check their website for more information.

Antarctica: A Year On Ice trailer

Antarctica: A Year On Ice gallery