Tag Archives: ptsd

Movie Review: “Leave No Trace,” Directed by Debra Granik, 119 minutes


A man and his daughter live in the national forest. Occasionally, they go into Portland, Oregon, to visit the veterans hospital and buy a few groceries. But then they go back into hiding in the woods. It takes a criminal-sniffing police dog to find them.

It’s the girl’s story. She gets most of the camera’s attention and nearly all the lines. She’s the one undergoing changes. Her silently suffering father mostly just endures. It takes real acting to do that. There are a few other people in the cast, but they have small roles with little effect on the audience — even though they clearly affect the girl.

I saw the film with a friend who backpacks. He was carefully watching all of the camping gear and at-home-with-nature operations that the daughter and father carried out. He approved. “Leave no trace,” he explained, is a slogan that campers and backpackers use to mean that they clean up after themselves. In this movie, it means a lot more.

I didn’t realize until afterward that director Granek had also given us “Winters Bone,” the  excellent film that launched the career of young Jennifer Lawrence. There are a lot of similarities. Both are really worthwhile films.

Just to top it off, there were three — count ’em three — different union logos in the last frame: Teamsters, IATSE, and Sag-Aftra.

–Gene Lantz

I’m on radio KNON’s “Workers Beat” program at 9 AM central time every Saturday.  They podcast two weeks under the “events” tab. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site.

One web site says 251,000 have died in Iraq since America was fooled into invading. Another (click here) says 500,000. Both of them say that most of the dead are civilians, and neither counts the number of maimed and crippled, not to mention the ones driven crazy, some of whom are running around on the streets here at home.

I wrote one of my one-minute songs about it. My argument was that they should be burying all of them here in Dallas, where George W Bush, the main perpetrator of the entire conflagration in the Middle East, lives. I’ve always thought it was fitting that General Robert E Lee’s plantation was taken over during the Civil War and used to bury the war dead. Bush has a ranch that could be used for that.

I don’t usually write about foreign affairs. I always assume that the people over there know more about what they should be doing than people over here, namely me, do.

But it’s clear that the United States has stirred up a holy war. It’s clear that young men and women are being recruited into that holy war on the basis that there’s something ungodly about what the great imperialist nations do in other people’s back yards.

I can’t begin to understand the religious side of it, but I know what imperialism is. It’s the boss’s game and for the boss’s profit. There’s nothing good in it for working people, over here or over there!

–Gene Lantz

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