"FEDCHENKO: The Forgotten Glacier", Christophe Raylat, France, 48'
Cédric Gras and Matthieu Tordeur begin their adventure along the shores of the now famously disappearing Aral Sea. From there, they simply follow the water. Their objective is the 77-kilometer long Fedchenko glacier, the world’s longest non-polar glacier.
It exemplifies the hundreds of glaciers that sustain life downstream in the deserts of Central Asia. After reaching Tajikistan by train, Cédric and Matthieu venture deep into the massive Pamir Mountains. Accompanied by a team of Tajiks, they plan to follow in the footsteps of those who first explored the region’s high mountain passes and chaotic rivers of ice. Climate change has had little effect in these parts. And even though 2000 kilometers away the Aral Sea has dried up, the primary reason is the overzealous diversion of meltwater for irrigation, which started way back in the Soviet era. Ten days into their journey, Cédric and Matthieu reach an old science research
station built just above the Fedchenko Glacier. Surrounded by breathtaking glacier-capped peaks, it appears as if it was only recently abandoned by its former caretakers. All the instruments and daily items remain as they were. The USSR understood the importance of the Pamir Mountains as a watershed for the countries of Central Asia. With Christophe Raylat behind the camera, Cédric and Matthieu delve into this important issue.