Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle (Brian Geraghty) in Juneau, Alaska. As her mother’s phone calls become less frequent and her uncle’s care is not what it seems, she runs away. Her only thoughts are to escape her uncle and somehow contact her mother, but as she plunges deeper into the Alaskan interior, she is suddenly, helplessly alone. A chance connection with a reticent backpacker, Bartlett (Bruce Greenwood), proves to be her only lifeline. As Mackenzie shadows Bartlett across the last frontier, she thwarts his efforts to cut her loose until he has no choice but to help her survive. Against the backdrop of the spectacular Alaskan wilderness, they discover sanctuary and the redemptive power of friendship. [mature]
Director’s Statement: Frank Hall Green
What do people run away from? Or run away to? I had been moved by a New York Times editorial on sexual abuse. The inescapable pain drove innocent girls like Mackenzie to run away from their perpetrators, themselves, and their problems. On an extended research trip to Alaska, I read of the state’s high molestation rate. It became clear that there were two frontiers in this film — that of Alaska, and that of innocence. The character Bartlett is also on a journey, running from the grief of a painful loss. When one encounters the right person, recovery can begin, and the wilderness has the power to help.