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Ice Fishing (2000)

Somewhere in the dead of freezing winter, a kid of about 13 lives with his older sister Wendy and his single mom, who works nights at a bar. The youth, Rob, is in search of a father. When ... See full summary »
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Cast overview:
Tracy Howe ... Randy
Cameron Boyd
Elizabeth Ann Townsend Elizabeth Ann Townsend
Ashley Carlis Ashley Carlis


Somewhere in the dead of freezing winter, a kid of about 13 lives with his older sister Wendy and his single mom, who works nights at a bar. The youth, Rob, is in search of a father. When he and Wendy miss the school bus one morning, they knock on the door of their neighbor, Randy, who gives them a ride. It turns out that Wendy is meeting a boyfriend and intends to skip school. Rob figures out how to convince Randy to let him miss school as well, and the two of them will go ice fishing. Maybe Rob has found that father figure he longs for. That night, events take an unexpected turn. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

January 2000 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

A story let loose on the purity of itself
5 August 2001 | by asabreedSee all my reviews

I just saw `Ice Fishing' on the Sundance Channel recently, and out of the block of 4 or 5 films in the ‘Shorts Stop,' this was the one I was moved by the most.

First off, let me say that the one thing about Alexandra Kondracke I like the most is that she doesn't stuff the viewer with sentimental sweets so we go back and point to the things that are `important' in the film. It starts out on one morning and ends in another – equaling an entire day – and the things that are important are the seemingly miniscule things that tie everything together in its ineffably well made whole.

The plot centers on a young teenage boy – who narrates some of the film also – living with his sister and his mom. There is no father or husband in the family. It's shown early that his mother frequently goes home with men at the bar where she works, but as the boy says, they don't even have the decency to walk her to the front door. She is shown stumbling in a drunken state to the front door, where she collapses on (I believe) a porch swing on the front porch. There is no running hot water, and the boy can't take a shower. His sister eventually dumps a bucket of water on his head and tells him he's clean. By that time, however, they have both missed the bus. Their neighbor, Randy (an unmarried guy probably in his late 30s that would probably fit the stereotypical description of a lumberjack), ends up giving them a ride to school in his truck. The boy's older sister has already planned to ditch school, and an older guy on a motorcycle is there waiting for her. The boy doesn't want to go to school, but Randy gestures for him to get out of the truck. He exits, but he ends up walking around the town before he finds Randy's truck. He tells him he won't tell the lady Randy works for that he's stealing alcohol, and for that he wants Randy to take him ice fishing. Randy says they'll eat before they go, and this is where a very poignant and true conversation takes place (in my opinion and experiences from listening to people talk about this and being a younger kid). Randy asks him if he has a girlfriend, what girls are cute in his grade, and asks how long the girls with boyfriends have been dating. He tells Randy about six months, and Randy tells him that's plenty of time to be dating, and by that time they're ready to move on. Eventually they go ice fishing, and Randy uses a power auger to drill into the ice to make a hole so they can fish. In the background, the boy is sliding around the ice, which is obviously much more important to him than the act of actually fishing.

After ice fishing, the ending event takes place back at the boy's home, which I won't give away here. With all the events I talked about above, this may seem like a dull film showing the events of a day in a boy's fatherless life. But Alexandra Kondracke shows that there is much more to the story in the simple events taking place. I don't know if the story is as subtle as the writings of Raymond Carver, but the story surely has that same kind of feel. Also, the cold and icy backgrounds and landscapes throughout the film are accompanied perfectly by the camera work, which mimics the cold simplicity of the surroundings.

All in all, this is a fantastic film. Too many directors now are pretentiously putting out pointless films that are awash in flare for the sake of flare and a lack of creativity. I think one of the reasons I like this so much is because I think a lot in this type of narrative form when writing: one that's simple – but (hopefully in the stuff I write at least) deeper than most things when you actually think about the entire story and all that happened.

So in conclusion, make sure you watch this if you ever get the chance. These films are far and few from most being made today.

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