Out in the Cold

Sarah Abbott and Colleen Murphy

2008, 29:40 minutes, B&W, English


On a night so cold it hurts to breathe, Soft as Snow and Cold as Ice meet Thomas, a young man in a drunken stupor who has been dumped on the outskirts of town. When Thomas suggests the two men should walk back to the city with him, Soft as Snow and Cold as Ice persuade him to stay the night. Each man has a different motive: Cold as Ice wants Thomas to die and join them; Soft as Snow wants Thomas to survive the night and return to the city to tell people their story.

This poignant and oftentimes humorous drama is rich in metaphor while exploring themes of loss, memory and disregard. The script was inspired by the freezing deaths of several First Nations men in Saskatoon, allegedly as a result of a “starlight tour,” the non-sanctioned police practice of taking individuals to an isolated edge of town and abandoning them to the elements. In 2001, Amnesty International included the freezing deaths in their report of international human rights abuses.

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Critical Writing

mispon: a celebration of indigenous filmmaking
by Nora Gardner. Splice Magazine, Winter 2009.