Toronto Film Review: ‘Icebox’

  • Variety
Toronto Film Review: ‘Icebox’
It’s difficult for a film to feel timelier than “Icebox,” writer-director Daniel Sawka’s precisely detailed and arrestingly spare drama about a 12-year-old Honduran boy whose desperate flight from gang violence in his homeland leads to his arrest near the U.S.-Mexican border, and subsequent incarceration in one of the several chain-link-fence cages at an immigrant detention facility.

According to an end-credits statement, Sawka — who expanded this feature from his award-winning 2016 short with the help of producer James L. Brooks — was finishing post-production work when the grim situation he depicts here turned unimaginably worse, due to Trump administration “zero-tolerance” policies that greatly diminished the ability of migrants like his movie’s protagonist to apply for asylum in the United States.

In a sense, “Icebox” represents the latest iteration of the socially conscious, torn-from-the-headlines melodramas that were a Warner Bros. specialty in the 1930s and’40s. But unlike such spiritual antecedents as,
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