Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hands on activities are always better for kids. Getting away from a desk and into the wilderness would be an effective way to foster problem solving skills in a child. What’s more, real life problems yield better solutions than ones in book at a desk in a public school. These are ideals I agree with, even as a public school teacher myself.




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IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]

This is a quirky and strange movie if you don’t pour some sort of meaning into it. Early on, I had a meaning I got from it and that’s why I think I enjoyed it so much. I’ll tell you what it was, as long as you remember that movies are like all art: you get out what you perceive from it.

The evil social worker lady represented the restrictive educational policies of George Bush. They were called. as most will recall, “No Child Left Behind.” She in fact repeats this phrase many times as her battle cry to find the protagonist. It’s also derived from the bumper sticker wisdom: “All who wander are not lost.”

This film looks a lot like Moonrise Kingdom in its silliness and campy presentation. Some will find humor in that alone. A preteen juvenile delinquent keeps escaping from school and eventually, after his caretaker aunt dies, he goes on a wilderness expedition with his “step-uncle.” A bunch of stuff happens, some interesting, some funny, some dull. At any rate, it becomes another aphorism: “Life is a journey.” It’s made to show how much more this child gets out of surviving with his uncle than he would in public school, or the juvenile correctional system anyway. The actors are all speaking in australian accents which makes it seem like an independent film (which in fact it is).

If you’re willing to sit through a whole movie of goofiness to see this director’s point about open and unbridled education, you’ll probably laugh a lot. I’ve seen better quirkiness like this in the film Nacho Libre. That’s also about an underdog who emerges victorious … and the jokes are funny. I’d recommend this film for fans of understated humor and who don’t agree with restrictive educational policies. I’d say it will be liked six and one half-dozen the other by the general public.

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