THE GREAT POLAR BEAR FEST REVIEWED
“The Great Polar Bear Fest” is about a small town in Alaska that is the center of Polar Bear activity. After spending most of the year being inaccessible to the public, scientists travel to this remote island to study polar bear migratory paths. Equal time is spent talking to the local residents, as the polar bears eat all of the animals that they normally hunt. Tack onto that a look at why the polar bear population in the area has been cut nearly in half. For an hour long documentary, it’s a tall order. However, it’s just super fascinating.
- 1.78:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby 2.0
RELEASE DATE: 7/5/16
The Plot Thus Far
The Great Polar Bear Feast Kaktovik, Alaska, is a small Inupiat hunting community. Perched on the edge of the world, it’s inaccessible by road and locked in by frozen sea ice for 9 months of the year. But for the month of September, it becomes the center of polar bear studies as scientists and wildlife photographers flock to the tiny town to observe the bears’ unusual behavior.
With more and more polar bears turning up year on year, scientists are determined to find out why this is happening. How do the bears know to come to this remote island and at exactly this time of year? And what is happening to the polar bears of the South Beaufort Sea that is seeing so many of them desert the ice for land?
We also witness what happens to the inhabitants of Kaktovik when the whale bones are picked bare, and the huge group of polar bears heads for the town.
The film has extraordinary access to the work of scientist Todd Atwood, the lead polar bear scientist for the US Geological Survey. He has estimated that there has been a 40% decline in the polar bears around the South Beaufort Sea since 2006. It is an extraordinary decline, and he is determined to find out why.
And as the search for untapped fossil fuels and climate change poses fundamental threats to life on Earth, how will the polar bear, the iconic image of the melting Artic, adapt to this new world?