Holidayextras.co.uk are running a poll to find out what people think is the most inspiring travel film; take a look at the Holiday Extras Customer Awards page to find out ore about the category. There are some great films on the list that I can imagine might inspire someone to travel, but there’s one that I can’t see encouraging anyone to go anywhere and that’s ‘Into the Wild’.
So, I understand the concept behind the film; a young American from a very affluent family forgoes his wealth in an effort to get in touch with nature. He ends up literally throwing himself into the wild, as the title would suggest, and we follow him as he struggles to survive. Nice critique on the entrapments of capitalist living, sure, inspirational travel film, no.
Why? Not only does the protagonist face all sorts of horrendous challenges, from falling victim to robbery to almost dying of hypothermia, but he also dies at the end (sorry for the spoiler). How many people are going to watch a film about a boy’s gruelling experience of the natural world which, as he tries to embrace it, kills him, and think ‘Yes, I’ll give that a try.’ I think very few.
I can understand the thinking behind its nomination in this poll… boy goes into wild, discovers beauty of nature and so on, and if he didn’t die I think there would be more support for it. But he does die and from eating rotted meat. So all those who were considering travelling but were worried about new things or maybe even more specifically worrying about the food this film won’t help! It doesn’t make trying new things; exploring; adventure or even nature look worth it. There are lots of inspirational scenes when he discovers majestic natural beauty but I think they’re far outweighed by the gruesome death and prolonged hypothermia.
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