Nature On Screen

NATUREDo you ever watch those movies where the landscape takes your breath away and almost steals the show? I find that happens a lot when watching movies were the natural environment play a major role in the essence of the film. These kinds of movies make me want to book a flight to the nearest destination and start exploring the lands. Even if only for a weekend getaway, the desire to escape into nature can pop up unexpectedly when watching some films. Here are my top 3 films where nature is king:


 1) The Lord of the Rings

I’m sure many would think of the rolling hills of the Shire and the majestic mountains of Middle Earth when you put nature and movies together. The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was film in New Zealand, a place of true beauty and wonder. There were times in the movie where Frodo and his clan were just walking for days and weeks. Despite how tedious that became in the book, their footpaths sprang to life in the movie and made for a beautiful treat for the eye.

2) Motorcycle Diaries

This film was given to me as a gift and what a wonderful surprise it was. Although I knew about Ernesto Guevara and his political history, in Latin America, I had no idea that he took this extended road trip through South America as a younger man. This film is based on the memoir he wrote documenting his journey by motorbike that he took with his friend. They travel roads into villages and tiny mountain towns in places like Chile and Peru. Although the film touches on social class injustice the witnessed in South America in the 1950s, the strength and beauty of Latin culture remains unwavering and inspiring. It was through this film that I first saw the beauty of Peru’s Machu Picchu. After that, I knew that one day I would go to South American and see what Guevara saw with my own eyes. I know much of the landscape has changed due to natural events as well as heavy tourism, but it will be worth it nonetheless.

 3) Into the Wild

This is another film based on a book, which is also a true story. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, this film takes place in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1990s. Into the Wild follows a recent university grad who was an ace in the classroom and on the field. Soon after graduation he decides to give his life savings to charity and hitch a ride to Alaska and live off the land. It’s a truly breathtaking story of humility and humanity and if this film doesn’t inspire you to pull out your best hiking boots for men (or women) and take a walk, I don’t know what will. The simplicity of nature in the Alaskan environment is so serene and untouched. Of course there is extreme weather to prepare for if you really do feel inspired to travel to Alaska but still, the emotion evoked through nature in this film is strong. People forget that America is beautiful too. The locale doesn’t have to be the mystical mountains of New Zealand or the rocky roads of Chile. There is beauty in film from around the world and that includes our own backyard. Although Into the Wild was stressful at times, the environment held certain calm, even when things were tough. If I ever make my way that far, I would definitely love to see Alaska for myself.

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