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Drop-out

Thomas Brunner 

  • Camera Arts
  • 5 June 2017

A man decides to abandon his consumption driven existence. To survive with the few objects of civilization that fit into a backpack provides him with a sense of freedom. But freedom is not achieved: the protagonist does not just step out of his comfort zone, he also leaves behind his social contacts.

Thomas Brunner places himself in the position of a drop-out, who forsakes his dreary luxury life within capitalist urban society. His attempt to escape from civilization into the Swiss woods is carefully documented in idyllic film footage. But slowly, the drop-out discovers the flip side of his romanticized ideal of nature: the daunting reality of the wilderness.

In this ruthlessly realistic account of the protagonist’s struggle to provide fire, food and shelter, nature proves to be tougher than the DIY videos addressing the theme on the internet suggest.

Brunner’s movie, a hybrid of realistic documentary and ironic mockumentary, touches on today’s discourses on ‘green’ issues and anti-capitalist rhetorics. It puts the finger on a sore spot: that it’s not easy to live up to your ecological ideals when you put them to the test.