An orphaned child befriends a bear after his father dies
A Stranger in My Forest is a family melodrama churned out by Mark IV Pictures, a company most known for their controversial and austere films about the Rapture. It starts with a tragic car crash that robs a young boy and his older sister of their parents. The now traumatized boy befriends a bear, clearly as a coping mechanism for the loss of his parents. This brings him into conflict with his community - in particular the Sheriff - who do not accept the boys peculiar friendship with the animal.
As you'd expect from a explicitly Evangelical film-company, a Stranger in My Forest is heavily embedded with a Christian ambiance and morals. Unlike the Rapture films though, this movie does not present its ideology in such a vindictive and imposing manner. Which is fitting for a family film. The storytelling is also more conventional, compared to the Rapture films often bizarre and feverish plot lines.
There are many problems that weight down this film - most of them common among low-budget, independently produced products. It's generally kind of dull and unengaging. However, the director did manage to make something out of the movies independent spirit. There is a sincerity and gravitas to the morals being presented, as if the makers and actors truly believed in what they were saying. This leaves the film with a sense of seriousness that the big-budget productions often lack. Even if the overt Evangelical spirit may rub many people the wrong way, there is at least nothing faux about the creators intentions.
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