Light of Mine: Film Review

Powerful visuals mark this subdued but affecting first feature.

The tenderly-rendered first feature by Brett Eichenberger concerns a young photographer who is diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy -- a rare, degenerative eye disease that usually results in blindness.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the stirringly photographed Light of Mine packs volumes into its unassuming 77-minute running time.

A tenderly-rendered first feature by Portland, Oregon-based Brett Eichenberger, the drama concerns a young photographer who is diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy -- a rare, degenerative eye disease that usually results in blindness.

With his vision already becoming progressively blurred, Owen Thomas (Ji Tanzer) is encouraged by his musician wife, Laura (Rebecca Sanborn) to go on that dream trip to Yellowstone National Park while he can still see through his viewfinder.

Needless to say, their emotional trek taken together proves just as significant as their scenic one in an old, unreliable van, as they come to terms with the crippling diagnosis.

While the natural, lead performances by newcomers Tanzer and Sanborn come across as a little too tentative at times, the spare dialogue ultimately takes a back seat to the magnificent natural backdrops that have been evocatively captured by cinematographers Mike Ferry and Patrick Neary.

As Owen's condition worsens, the film's symbolic use of encroaching fog, fast-moving clouds and heavy mist, combined with John Askew's discordant ambient score affectingly convey the lead characters' inner journey.

Venue: AFI Fest
Production company: Resonance Prods.
Cast: Ji Tanzer, Rebecca Sanborn
Director: Brett Eichenberger
Screenwriter: Jill Remensnyder
Producers: Brett Eichenberger, Jill Remensnyder
Directors of photography: Mike Ferry, Patrick Neary
Production designer: Becker Wilberding
Music: John Askew
Editor: Brett Eichenberger
No MPAA Rating, 77 minutes

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