The bravest of brave souls have been forging their way through uncharted areas of the Arctic for hundreds of years. Each of these expeditions inevitably contains its own thrilling avalanche of near-fatal roadblocks; from frostbite to hungry bears, it just comes with the territory. One of the most riveting accounts of Arctic exploration is that of the Alabama expedition to northeast Greenland in 1909. This excursion saw prolific Danish explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen and his crew on a quest to recover diaries left behind by members of the failed Mylius-Erichsen expedition, a mission that had ventured to prove that Greenland was not divided by a coast, and therefore did not partially belong to the United States.
Director Peter Flinth’s Against the Ice tells the story of the Alabama expedition, with a screenplay adapted from Mikkelsen’s own Two Against the Ice, an intimate memoir which chronicles his treacherous days in the snow. At times, Mikkelsen’s story is almost too fantastical to believe: From poisonings to sled-dogs hanging off of cliffs by ropes to a polar plunge with a polar bear, the explorer came up against just about every obstacle you could possibly think of.
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