The film showing on Sunday 13th January at 8pm in Corrie Hall is Leave No Trace (Director Debra Granik USA 2017 109 mins Cert PG).
Debra Granik’s follow-up to her acclaimed ‘Winter’s Bone’ follows the story of troubled US veteran Will (Ben Foster) who has opted out to live a life in the wild with his thirteen year old daughter Tom (a stunning debut by Thomasin McKenzie). They are picked up by the authorities and attempts are made to re-introduce them to society but there follow a series of adoptions by and escapes from well-meaning people unable to accept the free way of life that they have been living. Subtle, tender and thought provoking, this is a film with a lot to say about the way we live.
Writing in The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw says:
“Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie play Will and Tom, who are living a kind of radical Thoreau-guerrilla existence in a huge public park in Portland, Oregon. They have built a secret camp with tarps and rudimentary cooking implements, making their own fires. They share a tent, they read books and have military-style drills for staying undercover. Periodically, they amble out of the park and into the city, where Will can pick up his prescription for opioid painkillers at the vets hospital, which he can discreetly sell for cash on the black market to buy food — and then they return to the jungle. It seems like a perfect, even Edenic setup. But then Tom carelessly allows herself to be spotted by a hiker and things take a wrong turn.
When they are picked up by the authorities, they are subject to very similar psychiatric assessments, in which they have to respond true or false to questions about whether they have dark thoughts, etc. In some ways, these tests are callous, soulless – precisely the kind of bureaucratic intrusion that Will has passionately rejected on his own behalf and that of his daughter. And yet it is clear that this is the first time either of them have considered these questions – the first time they have really thought about themselves. Perhaps not having to think about yourself, not having to shoulder the burden of relentless neurotic self-examination, is part of what their way of life is about.
A split is coming. But Granik manages this crisis with cool, unhammy clarity. The intimacy and love between Will and Tom is presented with real delicacy. It’s a movie that will live with me for a long time.”