Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
First-time director Courtney Hunt took the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at this year's Sundance Festival for her nerve-wracking thriller. The finely etched anti-heroines are two matter-of-fact, desperate women who traffic illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River into the US. One woman is white, the other Native American, and they have more in common than their ingrained mutual distrust will allow them to admit. The precariousness of their hard lives, bringing up young families without support, is sharply observed and compellingly played out in the mounting danger of their nightly excursions over thawing ice.
"Riveting... Melissa Leo gives the performance of a lifetime, but she also receives great support. The artful trinity of Leo, co-star Misty Upham and Hunt leads to independent moviemaking at its best; telling real-life, off the grid stories with compassion, skill and honesty." — Steve Ramos, indieWIRE