Skip to main content

The Last Ice Merchant Documentary Short




2012
Directed by Sandy Patch

Taken from the films website

Twice a week for over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in Ecuador, to harvest glacial ice that covers the highest altitudes of this dormant volcano. In the past, up to forty ice merchants made the journey up the mountain to mine the ice; today, however, Baltazar works alone. Even his brothers, Gregorio and Juan, both raised as ice merchants, have retired from the mountain to find more steady work.

The Last Ice Merchant tells a story of cultural change and indigenous lifestyle through the perspectives of three brothers who have dealt with change in different ways. I wanted to portray the characters as the dignified people that they are and to show the very human story of their circumstances — to make a movie that would portray the indigenous community positively for both an outside audience, and also for the community itself.

I was first introduced to Baltazar by my good friend Rodrigo Donoso (who would later produce the movie). As a tour guide and a local, Rodrigo has known Baltazar and his family for over 20 years. I was immediately both captivated and impressed with Baltazar. It was hard to believe that a man 67 years old and no taller than 5 feet trekked up a mountain alone, in rain, sleet, snow and shine, just for the ice. When I met Baltazar’s brothers and talked to his family, I found a depth to the story that I felt could resonate beyond this small community.


The Last Ice Merchant (El Último Hielero) from Sandy Patch on Vimeo.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


THE INSANE, UNCENSORED THEATRICAL TRAILER FOR RELAXER!!!

Doom and gloom are on the way. The Y2K apocalypse can't be stopped. Abbie's older brother issues him the ultimate challenge before it goes down: beat the infamous level 256 in Pac-Man and no getting up from the couch until he does so. Abbie’s survival story begins here; inside a rotting living room with no food or water, and a revolving door of numb-nut friends and acquaintances. It’s THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL by way of SLACKER.

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Episode 216 - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

No one takes out the trash like Mr. Wick. Our trusty and reliable hosts enlist the assistance of Keanu Reeves' alter ego, John Wick, to help us usher in a new era of dependability. Dave and Jairo discuss John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum and revel in the glory of their hideous Game of Thrones predictions from the previous episode. Check out the latest episode on followingfilms.com.

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

Book Smart, Brightburn, Aladdin, Shazam!, Bumblebee, If Beale Street Could Talk, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum