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Short Film: 'Thin Ice'

Article

Fear

After the various terrorist incidents that have recently occurred in Europe, there is an increased fear of possible terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. When we see someone with an “untrustworthy” appearance and a backpack in a public space, we create immense doomsday scenarios in our heads that can set off all alarm bells. As a society, we are now quite frightened while very often everything is just fine. The short film Thin Ice, co-produced by Senior Fellow Tamar Guttmann, shows what happens in the mind of someone who allows himself to be led by feelings of distrust, with the main goal of making this common fear for attacks a topic for discussion.

Arts

For Tamar Guttmann, the arts are a wonderful way to create empathy within a society. According to Tamar it is admirable that when it comes to speakers and Action Projects Humanity in Action supports a creative approach. Tamar believes that when viewers closely follow a film character, they can gain personal insights within their own lives. Tamar hopes that by recognising and identifying with the film, the viewer will catch himself on his misconceptions and prejudices, without feeling that the film is preachy.

Senior Fellow Tamar Guttmann: “The Humanity in Action Fellowship has helped me understand that everyone, regardless of their background or interests, can take action for human rights and minorities.”

Synopsis

Thin Ice is a short film about the growing fear of attacks in the Netherlands and the impact of this on our daily lives. The film takes place in and around Rink’s (Achmed Akkabi) lost-and-found desk. When a girl (Claire Bender) with a hat that is lost appears at Rink’s counter and starts chatting to him, Rink suddenly sees a boy behind the girl with a black backpack, sitting on a bench on the other side of the track. The boy is covered in dark clothes and he looks restless. Rink tries to ignore him, but feels all kinds of small events indicate that the situation could develop into a very dangerous situation. After analyzing what is happening in front of him, there seems to be only one thing he can do. He needs to take action. Will Rink become the hero of the ice rink and save the day? 

Senir Fellow Tamar Guttmann: “I hope that the film can also serve an educational purpose by being included in secondary school curricula.”

Artistic Choice

The film ends with a surprising plot twist; the viewer discovers that in Thin Ice both Rink and ‘the boy on the bench’ are played by the same actor. Tamar explains that this is a conscious choice because people who look like Achmed Akkabi are often seen by the media as potentially dangerous (the boy on the bench), while they are much more likely to also live with very same fear of attacks (Rink). According to Tamar, our society makes someone like Rink scared and suspicious of someone who looks like himself. What finally becomes clear is that Rink’s fear is a reflection of himself, something he creates in his own mind.

Screenings

The film has been screened worldwide at several film festivals such as Nederlands Film Festival, the Oscar-qualifying Hamptons International Film Festival and Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. Recently, Thin Ice also premiered online on the international online short film channel Omeleto and has been watched hundreds of thousands of times! Go to the Omeleto channel or watch the film below.

Last update: April 2, 2020