New Matilda is giving away 13 double passes to Captain Fantastic, a thought-provoking new film about an American family forced to confront the ‘real world’ after a decade spent hidden away in the woods.
Captain Fantastic stars Viggo Mortensen as Ben Cash, a fiercely independent patriarch who is raising his family away from the influence of modern consumerist culture. Living sustainably in the American wilderness, Ben had been raising a tribe of “philosopher kings”.
His children’s days were filled with rigorous education, across a challenging curriculum of science, philosophy and literature – in addition to demanding physical training and intense instruction for surviving in the wild.
But the family’s self-created paradise is jeopardized when circumstances force them to leave, and face the outside world. Fascinatingly, some of the Cash family’s experiences actually have roots in the childhood of the writer and director of Captain Fantastic, Matt Ross.
“My mother was interested in alternative living situations,” Ross says. “When I was a kid, it wasn’t called living ‘off the grid,’ but we did live in communes in Northern California and Oregon. We were in the middle of nowhere without television or most modern technology.”
Ross admits that in writing the screenplay, he was also grappling with his own questions about how to be a parent in contemporary America. “Is it intelligent to allow our children to be electronically connected at all times?” he asks.
“You also could ask, is it responsible to allow your kid to play full-contact tackle football, which I played as a kid. There’s a lot of evidence that shows how dangerous it is. You don’t have to live in the woods and go rock climbing with your kids like Ben does to take risks.”
After premiering to a standing ovation at Sundance earlier this year, Matt Ross was awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. Funny, adventurous and heartfelt, audiences can enjoy Captain Fantastic in cinemas from September 8.
To enter the draw to win a free double pass, all current New Matilda subscribers need to do is tell us in 25 words or less whether you think mobile phones do young kids more harm than good. Email email@example.com, with ‘Captain Fantastic Competition’ in the subject line.
Free passes unfortunately exclude Tasmania and Northern Territory. Entries close September 8, at 5pm.