A photographer who’s going blind makes one final trip with his loving wife through Yellowstone National Park in “Light of Mine,” which is as replete with good intentions as it is with awkward storytelling choices. A typical case of regional moviemaking (in this case, the Central Northwest of Portland-based director Brett Eichenberger) that prizes good-hearted characters over filmmaking sophistication, the pic will draw interest in North American indie fests looking for an item with spectacular landscapes.Pro shutterbug Owen (Ji Tanzer) learns from his doctor that he has a swollen retina that will soon cause total blindness in both eyes. Owen’s musician wife, Laura (Rebecca Sanborn, a jazz musician who regularly gigs with Tanzer), urges them to take the trip of a lifetime, which translates as a trek from Oregon to the most tourist-friendly sections of Yellowstone. Staged scenes tend toward wooden dialogue and perfs, while spontaneously captured moments (such as encounters with the park’s imposing wildlife) spark brief moments of interest.
A Resonance Prods. presentation. Produced by Jill Remensnyder, Brett Eichenberger. Executive producer, Josh Wallace. Directed, edited by Brett Eichenberger. Screenplay, Jill Remensnyder.
Camera (color, 16mm-to-DV), Patrick Neary, Michael Ferry; music, John Askew, Rebecca Sanborn; production designer, Becky Wilberding. Reviewed at AFI Film Festival, Nov. 5, 2011. Running time: 76 MIN.
Ji Tanzer, Rebecca Sanborn, Justin King, Lanie Hoyo.