© Tara Arctic

This movie, made under extreme conditions, tells the daily life of the extraordinary Tara Arctic mission.

We discover how the crew members, prisoners of the ice, onboard Tara, fight incessantly against the cold, permanent night or day, the movements of ice sheets or the storms that destroy continuously the equipment that are under the threat of the bears, driven to the heart of the Arctic because of the pack ice disappearance. But beyond this feat, this documentary shows us that the scientific mission has revealed a reality that is much more alarming than anticipated for the world climate…

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Directed by Emmanuel Roblin and Thierry Ragobert

Co-production: ARTE France, MC4, Tarawaka, Off The Fence, RTBF, Research Directorate General /European Commission (France, 2008, 1h30)


Interview with the director Emmanuel Roblin

What are the main difficulties that you met when making “Tara, Journey to the heart of the climate machine”

We wanted to go beyond the local context of warming. The ambition of the movie is to show the consequences of the pack ice melt down on the scale of the planet. This required us to assimilate a lot of knowledge on climate phenomena on a global scale. It was a matter of mastering and moreover illustrating complex notions. Another difficulty was to make a movie that tells at the same time the daily life of the winter dwellers with their adventures on the ice as well as to make a scientific movie. It is difficult to reconcile story telling with pedagogy.

What messages did you want to convey in the movie?

I was mostly concerned with two messages. The first one was to show that the eight men onboard held the Damocles scientific program’s fate in their hands. This idea was close to my heart. The trap was not to make heroes out of them but to show how ordinary men react when confronted with extraordinary situations without falling into excessive dramatization. The second idea was to show science on the go. Not science spreading doom and gloom. Rather, a science that goes to the field to seek facts. A science that raises questions and that is capable of offering solutions. Through this movie, Thierry Ragobert – who joined me to finish the movie- and I, wished to adopt a positive outlook. Global warming is not inevitable. This movie is not one more movie on the devastation caused by CO2 but rather an attempt to understand how warming affects the Arctic and how the Artic influences the rest of the planet.


Movie Directors :
Emmanuel Roblin & Thierry Ragobert
Narrator :
Lambert Wilson
Script :
Emmanuel Roblin
Chief cameramen :
Bruno Vienne / Philippe Moreau
Assistant movie director :
Michaël Pitiot
Movie editor :
Frédéric Lossignol
Original music :
Frédéric Weber
Scientific advisors :
Docteur Jean-Claude Gascard – CNRS
Christian de Marliave / Leif Toudal
Georg Heigster / Michael Karcher
Sound :
Arnaud Lavaleix / Eric Boisteaux
computer animation production :
Eliocom / Christophe Salomon
Co-production :
ARTE France
Discovery and Knowledge Unit
Hélène Coldefy
Executive producer Jean-Pierre Bailly
Production director / Françoise Maurizot
Etienne Bourgois
Ellen Windemuth

With the collaboration of the RTBF- Belgium television-Claire Colart. In collaboration and with the support of the European Commission, Research Directorate General. With the support of the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable growth, Poitou-Charentes region and the Department of Charente Maritime. With the participation of the Centre national de la cinématographie.

Tara, journey to the heart of the climate machine.
DVD launch on the 4th of June ARTE Vidéo/20 €


Two issues of Dessous de Cartes, the ARTE geopolitical programme proposed by Jean-Christophe Victor :
– Arctic worlds
What is the Arctic space? What are its people? To what issues is the region confronted to when global warming is already a reality

– Climate warming, the proof by the ice.

Oxygen bubbles imprisoned by the polar ice tell the story of the Earth’s climate. Dominique Raynaud, director of the Glaciology laboratory of Grenoble, explains with graphs the impact of human activities on the climate since the industrial revolution…