Leave No Trace (2018), Dir. Debra Granik

Leave No Trace (2018), Dir. Debra Granik
I don’t have the same problem you have.
— Tom, Leave No Trace (2018)

Stars: Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, Dale Dickey, Jeff Kober, Dana Millican.
Director: Debra Granik
Screenplay: Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini.

What must we have to be seen as human; what must we have to be seen as a citizen; what must we have to be seen as a contributing citizen; and what is the distinction between these states of being. All three have measures and weight, and these weights are viewed in different ways. The basics of life are different in context and this line is severely drawn for the person struggling on the line of living legally. 

This film is a tragic note to the men and women who are struggling to live in this narrow-minded capitalist world that we are living in. Many can work through it and find spaces for our freedom of lifestyle while others cannot at all live in the construct of the modern world. Will (Ben Foster) and his daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) are living outside of the realm of appropriate living as the illegally live inside a national park. However they mean no harm and it is Will's only tether to life. As their circumstances change we see his personal struggle with living within society as his PTSD from his time in the military takes away his ability to handle the 'normal' world.

This film is quiet and it rests on the relationship between Will & Tom. Foster and McKenzie's chemistry is superb and holds this film's integrity and keeps you entranced with their day to day like. McKenzie really is a highlight as we see her evolve as a free minded human. With each new place they must live in we see her grow and make her own decisions as she grips on for dear life to social contact. You see this tug and her sadness of what this could mean for her relationship with her father; a reality that not many young people could face with such determination.

A must see to remind us how silly society can seem when looked at from the outside and how limited it can be for people who struggle on the frays.

★ ★ ★ ★