Leave No Trace (dir. Debra Granik, 2018) – A war veteran and his teenage daughter have been living off the grid for years until a mistake costs them their idyllic lives.
Will (Ben Foster) and his daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) barely speak a word as they go about their day – gathering wood, playing chess, and reading. The quietude of their lives feels like a vignette of the past, away from the city bustle that we are used to.
There is no electricity, hot water or digital screens. Neither is there the pressure of the daily grind to upkeep these conveniences. Their only compromise on modernity comes in a propane gas stove and their routine trip to the grocery store.
This choice to reside within an urban park is not a political statement or borne out of poverty. In fact, it almost seems ideal. Who wouldn’t want to escape from the weight of society’s endless demands? But this rejection of conformity comes from a far more difficult place.