Welcome to our 2014 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2014 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
In short….I loved this film. Let’s put aside for just a moment the stunning shots of Alaska’s majestic landscapes. Ignore the “zen-like” moments of hiking into the Alaskan wilderness, surrendering to moments of silence and solace. Forget that the filmmakers painted a mesmerizing picture of nature and humankind in complete harmony. Yes, I love this film for all those reasons, but let’s just forget all that for a minute. What the writer and director Frank Hall Green managed to do with this movie is take a subject that is far too common, to far too many people and reinforce the characteristics of enduring hope, healing and reconnection in its highest forms. It doesn’t hurt that the audience gets to revel in the beauty of actress, Ella Purnell as the troubled lead character Mackenzie or in seasoned actor Bruce Greenwood as the loner backpacker turned unlikely father figure with scars of his own. For me, this film embodies the very essence of what beautiful storytelling can do, which is impact and impart a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves, the human condition.
-Michelle Randolph, Outreach Coordinator
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