The movie Wildlike breaks the mold of what Hollywood, and more recently Sarah Palin, has shown the world an Alaska that looks like it is straight off of a post card, instead of a real view of the state. The movie has swept through the film festival circuit is now available On Demand and is showing in limited theater releases, bringing a actual representation to the screen of the state.
Alaska Dispatch News calls the film an antidote to what the idiotic reality shows bring to viewers, stating that Wildlike is a refreshing change, showing the state as it actually is. The film was shot in Juneau, Whittier, Anchorage and also parts of the Alaska Marine Highway and the Parks Highway. Unable to drive to many parts of the state, the marine highway, or ferries is an often omitted part of Hollywood films.
The film follows a teenager from Seattle named Mackenzie, played by Ella Purnell. She is sent to Juneau to live with her uncle while here mother does a stint in a rehab facility. Things go bad after Mackenzie’s uncle sexually abuses her. So, she sets out on her own, discovering herself and eventually travels with a hiker through Denali National Park. The hiker, Bart, played by Bruce Greenwood, becomes Mackenzie’s protector.
While the story is good, winning more than 30 awards in film festivals over the last year, it is refreshing to residents of the state to see a movie that really shows their home state for what it is. Another film that showed the trueness of the 49th state, albeit a view of Anchorage in the 80s is The Frozen Ground, a story.
Wildlike is more true to the real state. A movie titled after the state that was released in 1996 infuriated residents. Showing kids walking around mountains near the Gulf of Alaska with a polar bear that had been hunted nearby. Polar bears are found well north of the gulf and the whole movie was filled with inaccuracies that upset many people in the state.
Sarah Palin’s show on TLC made this beautiful state seem even more remote than it really is. One episode had the Palin family going hunting, leaving their home via float plane. While small aircraft are popular in the state, the Palin family made it sound like this was the only way get fresh meat by residents of the state. In reality, many residents of the city of Wasilla, where Palin calls home, shop at Walmart, Fred Meyer and other chain grocery stores, eat at McDonald’s or Taco Bell, and while they may hunt, many will take a truck and four-wheeler as opposed to flying.
A movie like Wildlike is refreshing. While a serious story, Alaskans appear to be happy with the portrayal of the state. The movie has received a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is in limited theatrical release at this time.
By Cletus Dillwood