Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
As powerful a film in 1971 as a few decades later, this compelling drama by Gunars Piesis stands the test of time. A group of fisherman are out on an icy bank on the shores of Latvia when a huge section of the ice underneath them breaks away from its moorings and begins to float out into the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea. The men frantically run toward the breach before it widens too much but the only one who tries to swim to shore does not survive the shock of the cold water and drowns almost immediately. Caught together in a fight for their lives are the young Karlen (Peter Chogolov), his older friend and mentor Birkenbaum (Gunar Tsilinsky), an elderly fishermen (Arnold Videnieks), his son Dalda -named after his father (Giert Yakovlev), three other villagers, and the selfish and wealthy Grintal (Edward Pavul). The men share the ice floe with Grintal's two horses and some fishing nets. As the ice starts to break up the small group of eight men are separated, their hopes for survival diminish, and so does their behavior.
fisherman, fishing, ice-floe, stranded, group, horse