Into the Wild

  • Directors: Sean Penn
  • Producers: Sean Penn, Art Linson
  • Writers: Jon Krakauer, Sean Penn
  • Genres: Adventure, Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Hal Holbrook, Kristen Stewart

Into the Wild recounts the life of Christopher McCandless, a real-life National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS)|student-athlete at Emory University, as told by his sympathetic sister. In response to his parents, whom McCandless perceives as materialistic, manipulative, and domineering, McCandless destroys all of his credit cards and identification documents, donates $24,000 (nearly his entire savings) to Oxfam, and sets out on a off-road|cross-country drive in his well-used but reliable Datsun towards his ultimate goal: to travel alone to Alaska and experience its nature firsthand. Along the way, he abandons his automobile in the course of a flash flood, to hitchhike after burning the remainder of his dwindling cash supply. He acquires a Perception Sundance 12 open-water kayak and goes down the Colorado River, into Mexico, and later returns to America via freight train to Los Angeles. Taking a circuitous route, he encounters many unconventional individuals along the way, such as a group of hippies, a farm owner (Vince Vaughn), and a lonely leather worker (Hal Holbrook) who offers to adopt and be a grandfather to McCandless. McCandless purposefully trudges onward to his final destination, arriving in the wilds of Alaska nearly two years after his initial departure. He starts living in a “Magic Bus”, used as a shelter for moose hunters. McCandless finds joy in living off the land and begins to write a book of his adventures. As the spring thaw arrives and he seeks to return from the wild, McCandless is cut off from civilization by the torrents of a swelled river one of his few admitted fears is of water. As his food supply of small game dwindles, he resorts to eating indigenous plants. Although he consults a book that he brought along in order to identify edible plants in the wild, he confuses an edible and a poisonous variety, which shuts down his digestive system and causes him to starve to death. In his final hours, he continues to document his demise in a painful and dramatic denouement.

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