imdb rating: 6.7
Director: Frank Hall Green
After conditions in her new home become unbearable, a teenage girl runs away and befriends an older man preparing for a hike through the Alaskan wilderness.
**Quiet, moving film set in stunning Alaska**
While her mom's in treatment, 14-year-old Mackenzie is sent to live with her late father's brother (known only as "Uncle") in Juneau, Alaska. Her unease in her uncle's company is apparent from the beginning of the film even as he tries to win her over by buying her a smartphone. When he crosses a line with her, she sees no other option but to run away and try to get home to Seattle. The problem is, she can't get in contact with her mom and she lacks the means to travel back home.
At this point, Mackenzie begins to shadow a lone backpacker, Rene Bartlett, in the hopes that he'll help her return home. Bartlett, grieving the recent loss of his wife, is initially closed off and reluctant to assume responsibility for the persistent teenager who won't reveal what she's running from. But he can't in good conscience let Mackenzie wander around Denali Park alone with no food or equipment, so their journey together begins.
It's in the vast, quiet, and gorgeous Alaskan wilderness that both Mackenzie and Bartlett begin to heal from their respective hurts, and slowly develop a level of trust. For Mackenzie, Bartlett becomes the surrogate father figure she desperately needs, especially after her damaging experience with her uncle. And Mackenzie provides for Bart a chance to see past his grief.
All the while, Mackenzie's troubled by the persistent texts and phone calls from her uncle, a master manipulator who tries to lure her back home. She and Bartlett are bound to cross paths with him at some point as he searches for his niece.
Ultimately, though, the story is about Mackenzie and Bart and their journey of healing through a landscape that seems to dwarf their problems. It's worth watching for a tale of human connection as well as the lush scenery.