Space theatre offers a peek into life in Antarctica

The vast blue and white expanse of Antarctica, the least explored continent on earth, has now come alive at a space theatre here.

PTI| Updated: Jul 29, 2014, 13:19 PM IST

Kolkata: The vast blue and white expanse of Antarctica, the least explored continent on earth, has now come alive at a space theatre here.

The first of its kind dome-shaped space theatre at the Science City in Kolkata is now screening the Australian adventure film `Antarctica: An Adventure of a Different Nature` in its large screen projection which gives viewers an immersive experience.

The 38-minute film by John Weiley follows man`s thirst for exploration to the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on Earth against the backdrop of an imminent threat of global warming and climate change.

Through the Astrovision-70 large format film projection system, viewers are wrapped with images of unsurpassed sizes, inducing an amazing sense of involvement in the film.

At a screening of the film, Professor Sudipta Sengupta, who was the first Indian woman scientist to set foot on Antarctica, relived her two-month-long stay at the Dakshin Gangotri glacier in 1983.

"The vast never-ending expanse of the ice field is still vivid in my eyes. There were no colours around us. Only the blue sky and the white ice," she told PTI.
During her expedition, four members of the Indian contingent had died after they couldn`t survive the climate. The film shows the brutal hardships and the fight for survival which the scientists researching in Antarctica face as they search for scientific clues locked in centuries old ice.

Penguins and seals are the only visible forms of life who have adapted themselves to the frozen temperatures and icy cold winds.
"Blizzards are potent enough to blow away tents and so human survival is challenging," Sengupta says.

The film also has a few film clips from the 1948 British film `Scott of Antarctica`. The film crew had to drag 2300 pounds of equipment around, including one camera that never worked in the frigid temperatures.

It took two Antarctic summers to film and the crew stayed at the American, French, Russian and Chinese scientific camps, getting some interesting footage of the scientists themselves and their experiments.

The film stresses on the fact that to understand the effects of climate change, one must study the changes in the glacial peaks of Antarctica which can also reveal some of the wonders of nature and solve many of its mysteries.

Science City is screening the film for the next six months with seven daily shows.