Reel Rock: Black Ice

Year: 2020

Director: Peter Mortimer & Zachary Barr

Playing time: 44 minutes

Language: English

Subtitles: none

6 November 2021 - 13:30

Last year Conrad Anker invited several members of the Memphis Rox climbing centre to try their hand at ice-climbing in the mountains of Montana. For many it was the first time they had ever left the city – and experienced the cold. Together with Monaoh Ainuu and Fred Campell they undertook this winter adventure.

Memphis Rox, a community centre disguised as a climbing centre, brings the comradeship of climbing and a degree of self-esteem to the deprived neighbourhoods in the south of the city. Conrad Anker recognised its uniqueness immediately. ‘Climbing bonds people together because its based on trust. You are there for each other.’ The idea evolved to take a group of young enthusiasts ice-climbing in Hyalite Canyon.

This film is bursting with fun and energy, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Black Ice is not about adrenaline junkies and dizzying heights. Of course, it portrays a sporting achievement, but this film is about so much more. With a polarity of opinions surrounding Black Lives Matter and the coronavirus pandemic, Black Ice shows that there is hope for America. That is, if people are only given a chance.