The Last Days of the Arctic follows noted Icelandic photojournalist Ragnar Axellsen, staff photographer at the leading Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið since 1976, as he reminisces, in poetic voice over narration, about his photographic career, a career spent, in part, documenting the rural farming and fishing Icelandic past and the hunting-gathering Greenland past, a past, he says, that is coming to an end. The documentary follows Axelsson as he returns with these memories to the scene of his remembered photographic crimes to meet again those people and places he photographed once upon a time in the past. Mixing beautiful black and white photographs with the digital colour of the kino eye Axellsen shows us and tells us about some of the people he has met and photographed during his years as an etnographer-photographer, the adventures he has had in the company of those people, the work those people do, and the places in Iceland and Greenland those people lived. In The Last Days of the Arctic those wind and sea swept people and places Axelssen has spent part of his lifetime preserving in photographs and now in documentary form come alive as they once were and as they are now after "progress" and climate change has transformed their lives and their worlds forever.
Just look at these remarkable photographs of some of the faces within places and places interwoven into and brought to life in The Last Days of the Arctic:
If you love photography as an art form, if you love black and white photography, if you love photography of places most of us little know and have little seen, if you are interested in the impact of modernity and global warming on the Arctic, then check out The Last Days of the Arctic, on your local PBS affiliate. It is, by the way, part of PBS's Global Voices series. Or better yet you can watch it below until 10 July.