Welcome To Pine Hill

Welcome To Pine Hill

Directed by: Keith Miller
80 minutes

New England Premiere

Former drug dealer Shannon is trying to leave the streets behind and get his life together. He’s gotten clean, and he’s working two jobs—as a claims adjuster by day, bar bouncer by night—to pay the bills. Just when things are looking up, he receives a devastating piece of news that sends him reeling. Now he wants to settle up with everyone and get out of town—back to nature, his old home, his childhood. But it’s not easy to get the city out of your veins.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, this quiet, contemplative film features mostly improvised scenes, many of which are based on real-life situations, that allow the naturalistic acting to take center stage. In the main role, Shannon Harper conveys a generally affable, laid-back demeanor that makes those moments when he’s pushed too far—whether by an offhand racist comment or threats from an old business associate—that much more gripping, as his easy-going exterior gives way to the anger seething beneath the surface. As Shannon explores the verdant splendor of the Catskill mountains, that anger falls away to leave him open to experience and exploration.

—Kristina Aikens