CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

8:12 AM

On the plane to San Francisco, I saw this new movie called Captain Fantastic. It's about a family, the Cashes-- a father and his six children-- who live out of society, in the woods. They stay fit through exercise, hunt and gather their own food, meditate in tall grass, and read classic novels and political books. I'm going to try to explain why this film stuck with me like it did, why it intrigued and inspired me.

Of course it's unreal in this time to live in a forest and be able to survive. What if you get severely hurt? What if you feel the need for company outside your family (I know I do)? And even if you manage, it would be impossible to integrate into the civilised world. The family in the movie does this and fails, sometimes hilariously so. If you learn all you know from books, and have no chances for social contact apart from your strange father and naive siblings, you're not going to be able to communicate with others. Others who have been raised with electronics, technology, consumerism and fast-food.

The film is wonderfully indecisive-- or at least, doesn't decide anything for you-- about what is the better way of living. Sometimes, you completely agree with the Cash family about things that seem so important in our lives, but really are not. Like brands, and gadgets, and even certain rules of society. And other times, you can almost not believe how much of what we know is learned through human contact. How important it is to be a part of a community, to get to know people and learn about their ideas, and share your own: to communicate.

But what if you could apply some parts of the Cash lifestyle to 'civilised life'? I think some people already do: they find a wonderful balance between modern lifestyles and the simplicity of how life 'used to be'. Think about the Paleo diet: limiting the foods you eat to what was available to prehistorical humans. I couldn't, I like cheese, but 'clean eating' comes pretty close too. Or the possibility to study history or philosophy because that is all genuinely interesting. Or even meditation and yoga, and other exercise to take care of your body and mind. 

There is something very magical about the life the main characters live. I think that the magic is basically in the fact that they live for themselves. They don't try to impress anyone, or compare themselves to anyone else. They meditate for peace. They eat and exercise to stay fit and healthy. They read books to learn things, or to entertain themselves. They live for themselves, and for nobody else. And that's what I love, and what I would love to achieve: doing only the things you want to do, needing only what you really need, regardless of what anyone says or thinks. Loving yourself enough to make yourself feel good, make yourself happy. And honestly, does knowing what Nike sneakers are contribute much to your happiness? More than knowing your basic human rights?

I recommend Captain Fantastic to anyone who wants to live more simply, more focused on him- or herself, but doesn't know where to start. I hope it inspires you like it did me!


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