top of page


Glacial Ways

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Oct 17, 2023

Film Reviews
Glacial Ways
Directed by:
Max Millstein
Written by:
Max Millstein
Edlyn Gonzalez, Teresa Patel, Elle Nizzardo, Steven Gregory

An environmental scientist goes through a mental health crisis while at a restaurant's outdoor dining area.


It is a hot, sunny day and Noa (Gonzalez) is sitting at a table at the exterior part of an eatery, trying to work on some notes, surrounded by other diners. She is a famous environmental scientist and her knowledge regarding how humans are destroying themselves and the world with pollution and unhealthy lifestyles has led her to become anxious and apprehensive. She interacts awkwardly with those around her and struggles to control her actions. Eventually, she appears to let go and indulge in the pleasure of smoking and drinking alcohol, before a dramatic revelation.


The beginning of this short drama is worth exploring. It begins with a title card containing a quote by American artist John Lurie, before the camera enters the outdoor dining area, moving around characters that Noa will interact with, before approaching her, as she nervously struggles to write. While this is happening, there is a voice-over conversation between two people discussing global warming and people's simple everyday actions that unknowingly harm them. This conversation is actually a recording that Noa is listening to on her device. All this is a rather effective way to introduce the heroine, revealing her interests and troubled state of mind.


The story is told through Noa's perspective, which reveals the unique and maybe frightening way that she looks at the world, with animation, sound effects and camerawork playing a key role in this. She is knowledgable about what her body consumes, with animation sequences showing bacteria from alcohol or smoking damaging her system. She is rather observant, with close-ups showing what caught her eye and montages, along with her voice-over disclosing her dramatic thoughts. She interacts awkwardly with others, telling her eating habits to a waiter (Gregory) and being concerned about a little girls's (Nizzardo) well-being in the presence of her mother (Patel). Generally, her profession has ended up making her very worried and she seems to be near the point where she cannot take all the stress anymore and feels that she should let go. Gonzalez's performance is convincing, which is vital in order for the film to work.


This short is a character study that utilises the filmmaking techniques mentioned above and also slow motion, fast motion, split screen and fast cutting in order to place the viewer inside the mind of an individual who is troubled by her environmental knowledge, which seems to be doing her more bad than good. With this in mind, the film also works as a commentary on self-reflection and mental health and raises awareness of unhealthy living and the damage that people do to the planet.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
bottom of page