Sunday, March 14, 2010
By Miss Voodoo at 9:18 AM
"I love not man the less, but Nature more." - Lord Byron
After many suggestions from commenters and friends and even strangers I finally got a hold of Into The Wild... only not in the book form but in the well done hollywood movie version. I know, people who have read the book say the movie is not as good but here goes my opinion....
This movie reduced me to raw emotion, tears, and gripped my attention right from the beginning - while I expected just to be watching a simple survivalist movie, I had no idea how much of Christopher Mccandless's family life was going to be included --- these modern family dilemmas and the parents living the suburban dream, plus using school and material wealth as their love language to encourage Chris for success were things that hit so close to home for me, I actually felt myself squirming uncomfortably right from the start. I was so drawn in, and am so close to his generation, concerns and struggles that I was his personal cheerleader from the beginning of the movie...
I understood the contrasts he saw, the acceptance he learned, the hardships, the fun, the realities of society, and I even understood why he would want to go out into the wilderness and be at peace. But I did not understand why he chose to go to Alaska (maybe the book explains this more?) - why he chose to show up in such harsh terrain with little to no training in survival? Surviving on the streets, dessert, farms, rural areas with other humans around is so different from the remote wilderness - nature does not choose favorites, nature is kind and harsh equally.
I had to really think about myself at 23 years old again, and how we feel, how we think we won't die, how we think we have all the details under control, how the greater risks are increased just by being the adult, and we choose greater adventures that we are drawn to cause finally no one can stop us.
I found his love to be penniless, his kindness to all people, and his willingness to try things he feared to be inspirational and poetically lived. Being penniless was not about being poor, but rather about freedom - he came from good money and had felt trapped, sometimes it takes sacrificing all that is at your fingertips in order to realize what you have never did control you in the first place - rich or poor, there are things to accept and appreciate.
He spends nearly the whole movie living out the realization of freedom (not realizing running away also is a type of trap) , and finally the end of this movie was redeeming, full circle ... but jesus christ it was so sad I could hardly sleep last night after watching it.
I would like to point out part of a quote Christopher had written (as his hitchhiking alter ego Alexander Supertramp) when he first arrived in the alaskan wilderness :
"No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild."
These words from him stuck out to me, because I relate and I see irony- poison is in nature too, and he finds that out. It seems at times nature is the kind one and man is cruel - but man is another piece of nature.
Where ever you are, it is how you live it, it is how you respect it, it is how you treat others... and 'others' are not just humans but every spec of life on earth. That is what this movie (this person's life) seemed to be about in the end.
PS--- here below are pictures of the Christopher McCandless (not the actor from the movie but the real person) on his adventures. There is no doubt in my mind I would have just loved this guy had I met him - just like everyone else did.