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Leave No Trace

For years Will (an exceptional Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (promising newcomer Thomason Harcourt Mackenzie) , have lived off the grid, blissfully undetected by authorities in a vast nature reserve on the edge of Portland, Oregon. When a chance encounter blows their cover, they’re removed from their camp and put into the charge of social services. Struggling to adapt to their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a perilous journey back to the wilderness, where they are finally forced to confront conflicting desires—a longing for community versus a fierce need to live apart. Director Debra Granik’s follow-up to Winter’s Bone is another sensitive and intelligent portrait of outsiderism and rural communities. A film that suggests rather than dictates meaning, it laves gaps in the narrative for the spectator to fill and is all the ricer for it. Reminiscent of Kelly Reichardt, the film progresses at its own unhurried place and speaks out against the hustle and bustle of consumerism and life in the capitalist system.

Excited for Leave No Trace? Hear our review in the June film podcast. Chat starts at the 18.25 in…