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Project Wild Thing
BUY TICKETS 11am Sunday 16 February
DIRECTOR David Bond
The real-life story of one man’s determination to get children out and into the ultimate, free wonder-product: Nature. This documentary takes a funny and accessible look at a complex issue – the increasingly fragile connection between children and nature.
(2013 UK 83 minutes)
Followed by a discussion of the issues raised: how can we get more children to enjoy spending time outdoors in Saffron Walden and the local area? A special event run in partnership with the National Trust.
The panel will be chaired by Ben Cowell, regional director for the National Trust. The panel will comprise Claire Thompson, author of Mindfulness and the Natural World, Jo Phillips from Essex County Council’s country parks team, Julie Abrams-Humphries, children’s author and former volunteer at Hatfield Forest, and Vyvyan Veal from Walden In Transition.
BBFC advice: Contains mild language and sex references
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on BBFC insight)
David Bond is concerned. His kids’ waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors. He decides it’s time to get back to nature – literally. In an attempt to compete with the brands, Bond appoints himself Marketing Director for Nature. Like any self-respecting salesman, he sets about developing a campaign and a logo. With the help of a number of bemused professionals, he is soon selling Nature to British families. His humorous journey unearths some painful truths about modern family life. His product is free, plentiful and has proven benefits – but is Nature past its sell-by date?
David Bond’s engaging and thoroughly admirable film is a record of his attempt to reconnect his own children – and indeed all of Britain’s children – with nature. Today’s young people stay indoors, unlike their parents and grandparents, who as children loved to roam free. A new generation is addicted to iPads and consoles, getting obese and insidiously depressed in the process, and parents are letting it happen. And more than that, we increasingly assume the outdoors to be dangerous, pointless and irrelevant. “We think we’ve outgrown nature,” says Bond, and wonders if the way is to promote nature as a brand, so the kids can ‘get’ it and ‘choose’ it; with boyish enthusiasm, he devises wacky ad strategies through billboards and social media to spread the good word, and gets out and about to talk to environmentalists like George Monbiot and Chris Packham. It’s all great stuff with lots of ideas, though I could have done without the phoney Morgan Spurlock-style “row” he concocts with his wife at the end. This is a project we should all support. Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
UK RELEASE 25 October 2013
RUNNING TIME 83 minutes