From the chopping of ice chunks high on the Mount Chimborazo to hearing firsthand about this family’s traditions, The Last Ice Merchant (El Último Hielero) is an engaging documentary about a man’s dedication to hard work and a way of life that has changed. (And the subtitles are at a good pace for reading out loud to younger kiddos.)
Twice a week for over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in Ecuador, to harvest glacial ice that covers the highest altitudes of this dormant volcano. In the past, up to forty ice merchants made the journey up the mountain to mine the ice; today, however, Baltazar works alone. Even his brothers, Gregorio and Juan, both raised as ice merchants, have retired from the mountain to find more steady work.
Excellent storytelling by director Sandy Patch. The kid(s) should definitely see this.
There are more documentary clips and more ice in the archives.
To know how food is grown — and how to grow it — to know who grows it, how it’s processed and shipped, and how far it might be coming from to get to our plates… we like finding videos that chronicle how these systems happen.
The Perennial Plate is a great resource for not only learning about food’s origins, but how people eat and endeavor in cultures around the world. Chef Daniel Klein and camerawoman Mirra Fine are currently traveling the globe to tell these stories.
From Splendid Table, Mirra and Daniel talk about their experience filming Coconut: Nose to Tail, and how efficient the use of a tree can be:
MF: For the people of Sri Lanka, the coconut is really a source of life. Not only because it is an ingredient that is found in most Sri Lankan foods, but also because the coconut tree itself, from the trunk to the leaves to the actual nut, is used in non-food elements of their life…
DK: They are selling really every part of the coconut. They are selling the toddy to a toddy producer, they are selling their husks to a rope producer, they are selling the oil to an oil producer, and then they use the coconuts for their own cooking and also to build huts and things like that.
Watch another Perennial Plate video: Lifen Yang’s small farm to table restaurant in Kunming, China, and then spend time on some farms around the globe.
Yay!! for clear underwater footage of unusual animals, (yes, even when they’re busy eating each other for lunch), via jtotheizzoe:
The Sea’s Strangest Square Mile
Sit back and let your eyes soak up this goggle-fogging journey to the Lembeh Strait near Indonesia by Shark Bay Films. It’s known as one of the richest homes of odd coral reef creatures on Earth.
Lightning-quick eels! Coral-colored, pregnant frogfish stuffing their bellies with wriggling prey! Baby cuttlefish!! BABY CUTTLEFISH!!!
More animals with camouflage skills are hiding in the archives. Plus, cephalopods, because.