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The White Planet / La Planete Blanche
(얼음왕국 : 북극의 여름이야기 2006)
Director: Thierry Piantanida, Thierry Ragobert
Starring: Not Available
Producer: Jean Labadie
Distributor: Prime Entertainment
Length: 77 Minutes
Release Date: July 13, 2006

Movie Review

Life on and around the North Pole gets the March of the Penguins treatment in the new French documentary La planète blanche (The White Planet). Directors Thierry Piantanida and Thierry Ragobert were in pre-production on this Franco-Canadian film before Penguins became the talk of the town, but their documentary is nevertheless similar on a technical level, even if its narrative approach is vastly different. Instead of a tight focus on a talking-head penguin family of three, the two Thierrys present us with a cast of Altmanesque proportions, with one or more representative of most polar species getting their brief – too brief – moment under the sun. Real-life Pole explorer Jean-Louis Étienne is the narrator of the original French version.

La planète blanche will please audiences with its sweeping landscapes that certainly merit to be seen at the cinema, and scenes of the en-masse trek of the caribou are impressive to say the least. But beyond the visual spectacle that is provided by nature (if framed by the filmmakers), there is impressively little substance to warrant neither a full recommendation nor a Penguins-style success. The small snippets of footage of the various life forms on the North Pole (bears, foxes, whales, seals… enough to feel exhaustive though it certainly is not) are too small to give more demanding viewers any insight into the animals’ lifestyles and shared habitat, mostly relegating the protagonists to mere decorative functions. The narration is also plagued by this shallowness: it rarely mentions where the various animals and landscapes were filmed (Canada? Groenland? Russia?), though it is clear from the diversity of the locales that it was not all filmed on a few square miles around the filmmakers’ log cabin.

The White Planet / La Planete Blanche (얼음왕국 2006)

Some of the film’s more exciting shots, including an inside view of a mother polar bear’s breeding nest and the escape of a seal from a predator through a set of tunnels through the ice, feel awfully contrived because they clearly suggest the filmmakers’ presence, even if they do not appear on camera. The nagging question that plagues these otherwise awesome shots is a constant “how did they get the camera up- or down there?”. A similar problem arises with the various scenes in which a predator hunts a potential prey. Ragobert and Piantanida carefully cut between the hunter and the hunted, borrowing their editing techniques from the world of feature fiction. This results in an apparent undermining of their truthfulness as filmmakers who try to document the moments as they unspool in real life, since these scenes seems carefully choreographed rather than shot in the wild. As in the recent French hit documentary Le dernièr trappeur (The Last Trapper), this feels so contrived that it actually takes the viewer out of the film.

Smaller children and people looking for a picture postcard overview of the North Pole will be largely satisfied since there is more than enough on display to please the eye. For a more demanding viewer, however, La planète blanche leaves much to be desired.


거대한 북극 대륙을 가득 채운 생명의 숨소리 돌이킬 수 없는 ‘북극의 여름’이 찾아온다!!

깊이를 알 수 없는 얼음 절벽과 드넓은 눈의 벌판으로 세워진
얼음의 왕국, 북극…

북극의 제왕 ‘북극곰’ 한 마리가 눈 구멍 속에 보금자리를 만든다.
그리고 소중한 생명 ‘아리’와 ‘쓰리’가 태어나 제왕의 혈통을 잇는다.
밤이 계속되는 얼음왕국의 겨울, 어미 곰은 100일 동안 먹이도 먹지 않고 젖을 먹여 아기를 키운다. 이곳의 겨울은 모두에게 힘겨운 계절이다.

The White Planet / La Planete Blanche (얼음왕국 2006)

About movie

다시 찾아온 봄. 아직은 춥지만 북극이 깨어나기 시작한다.

곰 가족은 동굴을 벗어나 해안가로 간다. 봄이 되면 먹이가 되는 ‘바다표범’들도 새끼를 낳기 때문이다. 어미 ‘바다표범’은 제왕의 눈을 피해 새끼 ‘베이비 씰’을 교육하고 지키느라 한시도 안심할 수가 없다.
‘순록’들도 대이동을 준비한다. 이제 곧 견디기 힘든 여름이 온다.
5만 마리가 넘는 거대한 순록의 무리는 극성스러운 모기떼를 피해서, 새로 태어날 새끼들에게 먹일 신선한 이끼와 새순을 찾아 북으로 북으로 눈과 얼음을 찾아 떠나야 한다.

드디어 여름, 매년 얼음왕국의 여름을 찾는 손님들이 속속 도착한다.
여름마다 북극을 찾아오는 ‘북극제비’도 알을 낳느라 시끄럽고 그 알을 훔치러 온 ‘북극여우’도 보인다. 플랑크톤을 찾아 온 ‘일각 돌고래’와, ‘북극고래’, ‘혹등고래’도 신비한 고래의 노래소리를 들려주며 우아하게 북극해를 헤엄쳐 다닌다.
하지만 어미 곰만큼 덩치가 자란 ‘아리’와 ‘쓰리’는 아직도 사냥 할 줄은 모른다. 얼음은 점점 녹아 ‘바다표범’ 같은 먹잇감은 눈에 띄지도 않는다. 아이들은 아직 한참 더 자라야 하는데…

어디론가 사라졌던 겨울의 숨소리가 다시 들려온다. 여름은 서서히 얼음왕국을 떠나고 있다. 이렇게 자연의 질서는 계속된다. 그러나 지난 30년간 인간이 불러온 ‘여름’은 얼음왕국을 녹여버리고 있다. 50년 후, 어쩌면 우리는 이 얼음왕국도 아름다운 북극의 동물 가족들도 다시는 보지 못하게 될지 모른다…

The White Planet / La Planete Blanche (얼음왕국 2006)


원 제: The White Planet / La Planete blanche (얼음왕국 : 북극의 여름이야기 2006)
감 독: 띠에리 피아따니다, 띠에리 라고베르트
목소리: 손범수
수입/배급 : 유레카픽처스/ 프라임 엔터테인먼트
제작국가: 프랑스
등 급: 연소자 관람가
상영시간: 77분
장 르: 다큐멘터리/ 드라마
개봉일: 2006.07.13
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