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Playing with Ice brings two people in from the cold

Mikel J. Wisler, Stories by the River

“Thus not only does democracy make every man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants and separates his contemporaries from him; it throws him back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

Above are words from the greatest commentator on our republic. The supreme irony of democratic life is that it is ever heading toward equality (imperfect as it may be) yet humans connect only with difficulty in a culture with rules always in flux.

Our species may not have smooth sailing in the relationship department, but, as the saying goes, it is an ill wind that blows no good. If it were all bliss all the time there would be no dearth of novelists and playwrights out of work, not to mention movie makers at a loss for a subject.

Alas, we need not have to worry. Contemporary society has its share of people who find the atomistic nature of our society, oh, let’s go for understatement, problematic.

Filmmaker Mikel J. Wisler has had taken his turn at the subject in Playing with Ice. With only two actresses he has explored how a duo have dealt with their situation. Until they come together, they had been surviving. When they meet, a contentious situation ensues. As they continue, confrontation turns into hope.

Laura Menzie as Jocelyn comes to an interview as a candidate for a form of suspended animation. Life is not working for her and waking up in the future is about the best possibility her bleak existence holds out. Kate Paulsen as the prim, professional Emma is holding her secrets close to the vest. As they confront each other, they find they share much, especially loss.

Mikel made this movie as part of Stories by the River. Stories by the River is associated with The River Church. The River Church has a its raison d’être the following,

We exist to be the type of place where people feel like they can belong, where they can heal, where they can grow into who they are meant to be, and where they can share all of that with others.

The Boston Film Industry Examiner holds the record at his college for the most cuts in the mandatory theology class without flunking. The BFIE takes it as his mission to never pass on the doctrine of any religion. Suffice it to say, Playing with Ice is a film consistent with the spirit of the policy quoted. It is a noble effort well acted.

Mikel co-wrote Playing with Ice with Andrew Gilbert. You can check out other cast and crew at the IMDB page. He has a website,

There is a Facebook page and a website for Stories by the River that includes information on accessing Playing with Ice and other films.

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