Can Polar Bears Tread Water? (1989)
Can Polar Bears Tread Water? has a lot more going for it than the inspired title, which led to huge sales around the world. The interviewees are outstanding. It deservedly won the prestigious Prix Italia.
For me the Kashmiri proverb, which provides the film's last word, sums up this extraordinarily apposite documentary: We did not inherit the earth, we bequeath it to our children.
Here’s are a couple of paragaphs from the press release for the original film:
Now that the Cold War is over, the world may have to grapple with the new, more insidious threat to global security posed by global climate change.
At a time when the world population is expanding rapidly, a warmer climate threatens to reduce grain production from the United States, which supplies over 100 countries, by as much as 17 per cent. Shortfalls in world food supplies will lead to whole communities uprooting themselves to move to more propitious climates in search of food. Climate change could even trigger wars over scarce resources. This graphic and timely Anglo-American production investigates the underlying causes of climate change, its likely effects, and the measures now open to world leaders to stave off ecological catastrophe.
Can Polar Bears Treat Water? is an excellent example of a documentary that could inspire a remake.