Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling ... See full summary »
Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage. Two women - one white, one Mohawk, both single mothers faced with desperate circumstances - are drawn into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. Ray and Lila - and a New York State Trooper as opponent in an evolving cat-and-mouse game. Written by
When the state trooper is checking out at Yankee Dollar, Ray tells him the total is $3.76. Over his shoulder is a sign on the wall that says that all items are $1.00. In and around Messina, sales tax is seven or eight percent. That would make the total either $3.21 or $3.32. See more »
Life ain't easy for Ray. She may have had it good, but now she's got it rough. Two kids. Gambling runaway husband. Working at the Yankee Dollar. On the icy brink of the unforgiving upstate New York wilderness. Living in a trailer. The best thing she can even think of is a bigger trailer. Bottles on bottles of bubble bath she may never open hold the promise of better days that may never break. That's how bad it is. Along comes Lila. In many ways, she has it even worse than Ray: living in an even tinier trailer, estranged from her family, bad eyes, out of work. But she is also a small-time player in the well-oiled trafficking industry, bringing aliens into the US from Canada. Desperate for a little extra cash to buy that bigger trailer, Ray gets involved. At first sight, writer-director Courtney Hunt's debut is as depressing as they come. But beneath rough surfaces, there is also hope. In fact, the many acts of love and kindness are all the more surprising given how hard life is on these people. Just when you think they hit rock bottom, a bona fide miracle comes their way. Says Lila: "That wasn't me. That was the hand of the creator." It may be a broken Halleluja, but it's a Halleluja all the same. - Fine performances all around. Sundance and Hamburg Film Festival winner.
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