Chris is a young man who practices his version of integrity unwaveringly. He has courage, discipline and a love of solo-adventure, occasionally flirting with the possibilities of deeper connection with others; being most drawn to those at the edge. His own edge is his lethal inability to process the pain of his own upbringing. On the verge of phoning his parents, who for months -then years- have no idea where he is, this ' "moneyless man" hands the coin instead to an elderly man in a neighbouring phone booth who is struggling for forgivess & reconciliation himself, but who is promptly 'hung-up on' after putting Chris's money in the slot.
Intimacy is nearly achieved with a young folk singer on a hippy-type trailer park, yet the again lethal choice made is not to make love to the 16year old (Chris is 23) whilst her parents are out. If he had, my view is that he would not have lost his connection with society so much that he left it all once and for good. The film is hard to read as a morality tale, and nature/wildness is both honoured in the film and presented as containing menace. Ultimately, it is hard to say what the existential (rather than the physical) cause of Chris's death is, though, for me, the message is that no matter how much wisdom and determination someone has, the task of life goes way beyond self is to keep expanding the boundaries of compassion. Only by staying connected to your pain, to others pain and processing it all with joy, are we both living wildly and free.
You have until the 23rd October, but please save me much stress & give another 2-4minutes now to registering & then voting for:
-and how many friends/networks have you nudged/encouraged/ set-alight?