This clip is useful for exploring the wilderness environmental discourse. It can also be used to discuss how “nature” stories are constructed.
Into the Wild depicts the real-life story of Chris McCandless, who goes on a journey to come into contact with the “wild” in Alaska. This is a strong example of the wilderness environmental discourse, which has a long tradition in Western visual and literary culture. Students can discuss how wilderness is represented as different than, or other than, civilization. Does this film enable people to feel more connected to nature, or disconnected?
This BBC trailer can be used for discussions about the representations of wilderness, animals, environmental discourses, and environmental ideology. It’s important to also pay attention to the use of Hollywood-style film language.