On the Ice: Dumb Teenagers, Accidental Crime, Fascinating Alaska
In a Native town in the most northern part of Alaska, it’s a bare snowy landscape where the sun never sets. Qalli is college bound with a stable home life. Aivaaq has an alcoholic mom, a pregnant girlfriend, and a history of getting in trouble. They are typical teenagers, but they exist in both the traditional and modern worlds, listening to hiphop and driving snowmobiles but also participating in the old customs. Far outside of town, while on a seal hunt, a fight ends with another boy accidentally dead, and the two friends plot to cover it up, setting up a series of risky lies and unintended consequences. The Native Alaskan elements are what make this film engaging—even though dumb teenagers are the same all over, these boys are living in extraordinary circumstances, both culturally and environmentally.