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Frozen River (2008)

Ray Eddy is what some people call white trailer trash. I think of her as a heroic survivor. Her husband gambled away what little money they had, leaving her with a sullen teenage son and his younger brother. Ray dreams of a double wide trailer and serves Tang and popcorn for breakfast. Her television comes from a rent-to-own place, and she works at the dollar store in remote upstate New York. Ray teams up with a much younger Mohawk girl named Lila, who lives on a reservation on the border between Canada and New York. Ray has a beat up car while Lila has the underworld contacts, and together they smuggle Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's car across the frozen St. Lawrence River and into the United States. Each woman has her own motives for their criminal activity, and because those motives are rooted in economic survival the quick money is way too good to pass up. The winter scenery in this film is spectacular, while the human stories are tragic. Frozen River won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2008.

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