An American artist travels to a remote island in Alaska with his son, hoping the primordial region would serve as muse for his art, but sometimes, inspiration needs to come from within.
Written and directed by Eric Downs, the short film ‘A Dreamer’s Search’ is set in 1918 and follows painter Rockwell Kent’s stay in the Alaskan wilderness. Bradford James Jackson plays Kent and is earnest in his portrayal of the ‘tortured artist’ who struggles with meeting his own idealistic expectations. Iver Mitchell portrays his son Rocky, a sweet mild-mannered boy who cherishes the time spent with his reclusive father.
As soon as the movie begins, Kent’s quest for inspiration in nature’s lap would remind literature enthusiasts of Henry David Thoreau who had written his famous work ‘Walden’ in a secluded cabin in the woods. A little reading on Kent’s life reveals that too had read Thoreau’s works and followed the footsteps of such transcendentalists.
Back to Eric Down’s film – the cinematography is stunning, the beautiful Alaskan landscape is like balm for tired eyes, making one wish its breeze and earthy fragrance could waft through the screen and surround you. When Kent and his son take a boat to the island, the camerawork was slightly shaky, but it makes the viewer feel like they are on the water with them. It was perhaps a deliberate creative decision as the cameras were stable for the rest of the film.
With a crisp 30-minute runtime, ‘A Dreamer’s Search’ is a succinct creation which captures the struggles of an artist and poignantly explores a father’s relationship with his young impressionable son.
It’s an 8/10 from me.