What People Look Like

Director Courtney Hunt discussing her first feature film, Frozen River, with Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment (8.6.08):

"I think it's easy to forget we're all a few steps away from that, but it's still out there that we have to rely on these very basic things like food, and shelter, and transportation--especially when you're out in the middle of nowhere. And you start taking those away and people get pretty desperate pretty fast."

"You know, I was never super poor. My mother and I were always just gettin' by, you know. But you do have that fear and that burdened feeling that [the main character's older son] has, that burdened look of the kid who's worried about more than he ought to be worried about...That was me. In a lot of ways, I know that kid well. That sort of worry that kids take on, especially with a mom out there and no dad."

"In this situation, the dad is not available. You take that away and women are on their own, they're standing up on their own and they're doing what they need to do. Although we do have little men, you know, the sons sort of routing for their mother and kind of mad at their mother and What happened to Dad? and Did you drive him away?

"So her loneliness is really important in the movie. But then we're with her right from the get-go. Right from the first shot, we're with her. And people have given me a hard time, like That's a punishing close-up! That's not a punishing close-up. That's what people look like when that stuff happens. Why's that bad to show?"