Friday, October 31, 2014

Why We Need the Movie "Wild"

I don't know how many of read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, or seen the trailer for the movie that's going to be released on Dec 5, but, if you haven't, it's the story of a woman who falls apart after the death of her mother, and then eventually recovers by through-hiking a section of the PCT. When I started to read the book, I found myself irritated by Strayed and her melodrama. But as the story continued, I came to recognize and appreciate her growth and healing (her outdoor skills remain questionable though). And when I heard that the book was going to be made into a movie, I eagerly watched the trailer, only to find myself disappointed with the entire story all over again. Until I read this blog post. I follow this blog because the woman who writes it frequently combines an outdoorsy perspective of the world with many of the ideas I often can't seem to reconcile with the things I come across here at school. And with this she does it again. She points out "When was the last time you watched a movie with a female protagonist? Who, instead of being rescued in the end by Prince Charming, pressed through her challenges to learn and maybe overcome? And when was the last time that protagonist worked through her problems by turning toward nature?" Woah. I can't answer any of those questions. And the post also introduced me to the Bechdel Test, "a rubric for measuring gender bias" in works of fiction. So, although I may not agree entirely with the image of women in the outdoors that the movie Wild seems to portray (Reese Witherspoon staggering around in the desert/mountains/snow/forest with her hair in her face), I am trying to appreciate the fact that somebody is creating a movie that is focused on a female protagonist who finds change within herself, with the help of nature.

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