Previously at the ICA - Films

On the Ice, Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, 2011

On the Ice

18 Oct 2011

In the isolated Alaskan town of Barrow, far north of the Arctic Circle, friends Qalli and Aivaaq have grown up together in a tightly-knit community where traditional customs and values rub shoulders with the modern world. The locals travel by snowmobile and hunt seals and walruses for food, whilst among the younger men drugs and hip-hop are recreational staples. Quiet and responsible Qalli has a university place waiting for him in the autumn; the more reckless Aivaaq has a pregnant girlfriend to support. When a third friend is killed during a brawl on a hunting expedition, the young men decide to conceal the body and to lie about the true events. But deception doesn’t come easily to Qalli, not least as his father grows increasingly suspicious.

First-time director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean has assembled a fine cast of mostly
non-professional actors, and metes out the necessary tension as the drama unfolds. The film’s unusual setting is woven into the narrative, the stark beauty of the tundra contrasted with the claustrophobic drabness of the town, and is captured with great flair by cinematographer Lol Crawley (Ballast, HERE).

Dir. Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, USA 2011, 96min

Cast: Josiah Patkotak, Frank Qutuq Irelan, Teddy Kyle Smith


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