Walking to the cinema, reasoned selection of films on hiking

A reasoned selection open to the contribution of readers and cinema enthusiasts

A frame from the movie “A walk in the Woods”, with Robert Redford © YouTube

Nature, high altitudes, the wild world and the rejection of sociability in favor of a more intimate and personal dimension. Often, these are the foundations on which to grow the stories and narratives staged in hiking films And about walking in the mountains. Whether it’s stories of revenge and personal reconstruction or physical or mental drama. In this article, we offer you a short reasoned selection, however still partial, which we would like to expand with the contribution of readers and cinema enthusiasts. These are different titles which, among other things, also give the viewer an account of how familiarity with hiking and familiarity with natural horizons differ depending on the culture of origin. Good vision!

“Wild” by Jean-Marc Vallee (2014)
“Wild” is a 2014 film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, starring Reese Witherspoon. The film tells the story of Cheryl Strayed, a young woman with a history of drugs and family problems who decides to embark on a solo journey on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: a long-distance trail aligned with the highest portion of the mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevada, east of the US Pacific coast. Along the way, Cheryl will change her life path, putting herself to the test and rediscovering her place in the world and in nature. The film is taken from the book “Wild, a wild story of adventure and rebirth”, written by Strayed herself. The film is available on Disney +, in streaming and on YouTube and Google Play, for a fee.

“Tracks – through the desert” by John Curran (2013)
The film tells the true story of Robyn Davidson, who crossed the Australian desert in 1977. A 2,700 km long journey, which began in Alice Springs and ended in the Indian Ocean, with only the company of four dromedaries and his faithful dog. Occasionally followed by the photographer Rick Smolan of the National Geographic Society, Robyn, played by Mia Wasikowska, will undertake a difficult but full of suggestions journey, capable of changing her life. The film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime and on YouTube and Google Play for a fee.

“The Camino de Santiago” by Emilio Estevez (2010)
A tribute from a son and a father to the Camino de Santiago. The son is Emilio Estevez, director, screenwriter and actor. The father is Charlie Sheen, the leading actor in a film that aims to be a tribute to the famous “French Way” which unites France and Spain for 800 kilometres. Sheen plays Thomas Avery, an American ophthalmologist who travels to France following the death of his son Daniel who died in the Pyrenees during a blizzard while he was walking the path. Tom’s initial idea is to simply bring his son’s ashes back home, but then he decides to take them with him in a metal box and to undertake the journey himself. The film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play for a fee.

“A Walk in the Woods” by Ken Kwapis (2015)
Robert Redford’s love of nature is the true star of this film. The work is the film adaptation of the diary “A Walk in the Woods” written in 1998 by journalist and writer Bill Bryson. Redford, in fact, plays Bryson himself who decides to try his hand at a very demanding excursion on the “Appalachian Trail”, more than 3000 kilometers long. Joining him will be Stephen Katz, an old friend whom the protagonist hasn’t seen for years. Bill and Stephen thus venture into an experience that will reserve them many surprises. The film is available on Amazon Prime.

“127 hours” of Danny Boyle (2010)
The film stages the story of Aron Ralston, an American mountaineer who in April 2003 was trapped in a Utah canyon and was forced to amputate his right arm in order to free himself.
Aron had set off on a solo ride in Blue John Canyon in Utah. At first everything seems to be going well, but left alone, Aron gets stuck by a falling rock. In those conditions, the hiker remains for at least 127 hours (five days), until he decides to amputate his arm to escape his condition. The film is available for streaming on Disney+.

“Leaving no trace of Debra Granik (2018)
In this case, the theme of the outdoors and trekking is tackled from a more global perspective and not tied to hiking in the strict sense. In the spotlight is a lifestyle choice: living in the open air in contact with nature and isolating yourself from society. The story is that of Will, a former veteran with PTSD who lives in the forest with his thirteen-year-old daughter Tom. Contact with the company is kept to a minimum. It is a film adaptation of the novel “My Abandonment” by Salt Lake City writer Peter Rock. The film is available for download on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play and Apple TV+.

“Savages on the run”, by Taika Waititi (2016)
The theme of the outdoors is the context on which a narrative on the theme of life in nature and the experience of finding oneself through walking in wild and natural environments is set up. The film by the New Zealand director tells the story of Ricky, a city boy who is placed in the foster care of a country family. Following a dramatic event, Ricky risks being sent to another house. This will prompt the little boy and his uncle Hec to flee into the woods. With a manhunt ensuing, the two are forced to put their differences aside and work together to survive. The film is available for download on Google Play Movies, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.

“Trekking with surprise” by David Grushka (2019)
It is a German production (106 min.), dubbed into Italian. It is easily found on Raiplay, where it is classified in the “sentimental” genre. The story tells of a family trek in the Tramuntana mountain group in Mallorca. The narrative plot unfolds around the difficult relationship of Klaus Wöhler, burdened by a family tradition that oppresses the protagonist, with his father and son. Pleasant landscapes and shots, taken in the mountains of Bavaria and in the largest of the Balearic Islands.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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