<i>Evergreen</i> celebrates two exciting debuts, that of Enid Zentelis, a writer/director whose poignant, honest storytelling ability captures the essence of a young woman facing life's challenges, and of Addie Land, the talented actress who portrays her.
"We are from the country of Dirt Poor," explains Henri as she and her mother bum a ride back to their new home, a leaky, ramshackle house they share with her grandmother. On the first day at her new school, Henri meets a boy from the good side of the town and eventually becomes a welcome guest in his comfortable home. He has the ideal life—a car, pocket money, a mom <i>and</i> a dad—and Henri instantly becomes infatuated with a lifestyle her mother cannot provide on wages from the makeup factory.
Coming to terms with one's limitations, envy, the power of family love, and the struggles of the working poor in America are just a few of the themes that drift elegantly into <i>Evergreen</i> as subtle realities. The richness of the Pacific Northwest landscape provides an almost unnerving contrast to the struggles of these three women low on resources. The film portrays a multigenerational quest for dignity in a world that would rather look away—but <i>Evergreen</i> won't let you.