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Frozen river - Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Michael O'Keefe, Courtney Hunt

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Frozen river is the story of Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo), an upstate New York trailer mum who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila (Misty Upham), a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's Dodge Spirit.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Frozen river theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime drama winter illegal immigrant people smuggling snow ice USA Canada native reservation

Persons of interest

  • Melissa Leo .... Ray Eddy
  • Misty Upham .... Lila
  • Michael O'Keefe .... Trooper Finnerty
  • Mark Boone Junior .... Jacques Bruno
  • Charlie McDermott .... TJ
  • James Reilly .... Ricky
  • Dylan Carusona .... Jimmy
  • Jay Klaitz .... Guy Versailles
  • Michael Sky .... Billy Three Rivers
  • John Canoe .... Bernie Littlewolf
  • Nancy Wu .... Chen Li
  • Thahnhahténhtha Gilbert .... Little Jake
  • Adam Lukens .... Mitch
  • Betty Ouyang .... Li Wei
  • Craig Shilowich .... Matt
  • Courtney Hunt .... Screenwriter
  • Courtney Hunt .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Frozen river is a film about povvos. You know, poor people who live in "trailers" and who work in Somethingmart and who keep supporting their deadbeat spouse. And no matter how poor they are they still have enough money for cigarettes and a big-screen plasma TV. These are the peasants of the modern era.

Frozen river is also a film about being hard-done-by. You know, first settlers of the wilderness who are then invaded by colonising Europeans and squeezed onto smaller and smaller areas of the land on which they've lived for twenty or thirty thousand years. If they're lucky, the descendent of the colonisers feel some guilt (better late than never) and try to make amends for their cultural wrongdoing. These are the slaves of the modern era.

Thus, Frozen river is a film about desperation. Heck, you've got to be desperate to live in this part of the world in the first place: the bloody river actually freezes deep enough to drive a car over! Holy brass monkeys! Anyway, Melissa Eddy's character is so worn down by her life that her name could be Stumpy. Misty Upham's character could be Nubble. They don't even have the optimism of Björk's struggling single parent in Dancer in the dark. That means that you're in for some drama. As it's set in the middle of nowhere the pace is what you might call "rural" but if you're paying to watch a film like this then you're the kind of person with an attention span longer than six seconds so there're no worries there: it's an art-house movie and you're an art-house moviegoer.

You don't have to be white trash to live in a trailer but it really helps.

The crime, drama movie Frozen river is directed by Courtney Hunt and stars Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Michael O'Keefe.

Government security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Strong themes)

Surveillance time

97 minutes (1:37 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 19 February 2009 - Melbourne, Sydney
DVD retail: 24 June 2009

Cinema surveillance images

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