Under the glow of the northern lights, a mother polar bear raises two young cubs in one of the harshest environments on the planet. Trekking across 80 kilometres of frozen tundra they face wolverines, hungry male polar bears and packs of wolves in a quest to return to their winter hunting grounds. They must quickly learn to hunt seals on the frozen pack ice to put on weight before the ice recedes once again. This is a rare
glimpse into a beautiful but deadly frozen world and the life of one of the world’s most iconic animals, living on the edge.
Our story begins as the heavily pregnant female sets off on an epic trek inland to her ancestral birthing grounds, scavenging what she can find on the way. After days without eating, in desperation she devours a stash of
lemmings hidden by Arctic foxes which provides just enough sustenance for her to keep going. She eventually locates an old den, two and a half metres long and just under a metre high, where she undergoes one of the
longest fasts in the animal kingdom – eight months without a real meal. For three months she doesn’t move. The cubs have to grow 20 times their birthweight before she can take them outside the den, and due to the extreme conditions 50% of newborns don’t make it.
Once strong enough, the family must undertake a perilous journey back to the frozen bay and the winter pack ice, where their starving mother will finally be able to hunt again. Here the young bears must follow their
mother’s footsteps and learn to hunt seals, narwhals, belugas and avoid hungry male polar bears. When spring finally arrives, the bears face their next life or death challenge. They have no choice but to swim 160
kilometres back to land. After a few days, with the coastline tantalisingly in sight, disaster strikes when an unexpected storm creates hazardous swimming conditions. One of the cubs doesn’t make it.
This beautifully shot film gives a glimpse into a rarely seen world, the life of a powerful and mysterious predator, all playing out under epic frozen landscapes and magical northern lights. Polar bear numbers in Hudson Bay have dropped by 20% in the last 5 years. Their hunting grounds are shrinking, and the ice is no longer reliable. The largest land predator on Earth faces an uncertain future.