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Leave No Trace

Ethics affect how people make their various decisions and also how they live their lives. It refers to a system of moral principles, and it’s mainly concerned with that which is appropriate for persons and also for the society at large (“BBC – Ethics – Introduction to ethics: Ethics: a general introduction”, 2019).  As individuals make their decisions, they should be considerate of how they will affect the other people surrounding them and also whether such decisions are ethically appropriate. Some decisions may seem to be appropriate at an individual level, but they pose a threat to the rest of the community or the people surrounding such an individual. In the film, “Leave No Trace”, there are several decisions which pose as dilemmas and raise questions as to whether they are ethical or not. This paper will be analyzing this film and dig deep on some of the ethical issues raised in the film.

 The film, “Leave N Trace”, begins in a forest which is made up of wet trees and moss. This forest is a public park in Portland and in which Will and Tom have been camping for a while without having been noticed. In the film, they are first seeing holding knives cutting wood and playing chess among other activities. At the beginning of the movie, there are no talks, thus signifying wordless communication in their activities. Will and Tom both sleep in sleeping bags as the rain pours down. One can tell that the life in the park is very hard, but there are strong bonds of love between the two. This is what keeps them moving through the hard times in the park.

 One day a jogger jogging around the park spots Tom and calls the cops on them. The cops respond to the call, and they invade their camp. During the arrest, Will is the first person to be captured, and when he is asked whether he has anything which could hurt the cop, he says just the knives. He is trying to be honest with the police to prove to them he has not done any wrong.

He then goes on telling them he is with his daughter and then calls out for her and tells her to cooperate since they have not done any wrong. 

 After detention, Tom is detained in the cells for the teenage girls while Will is passed through rigorous psychological tests. A stranger happens to read about their story in the newspaper and reunites them. This stranger offers Will a job on his farm. As he works in that farm, he looks so much isolated and longing to be allowed into the woods. Tom, on the other hand, becomes friends with a kid in the local firm who invites her to his meetings where kids come into the meetings with their rabbits. She falls in love with it. Even in the face of kindness, Will goes on resisting, and this leaves Tom in a dilemma due to her curiosity about the universe and the attachment she has to her father. The two are so much close that no one can think of a means of separating them. As time goes on, Tom grows, and she will have to choose her way of life.

 In the film, there are several ethical issues. One of the ethical issues is arresting Will and Tom. These two are not wrongdoers, and therefore, it is not ethical to arrest them. Arresting them makes them feel as if they are not part of the larger community. From the film, Will can be overheard telling Tom to cooperate for they have done no wrong. Another ethical issue is detaining the minor and separating her from her father, putting into consideration that he is the only person she has lived with and is the only person she knows. Special consideration should have been given instead tormenting her mentally by separating her from the only person she knows. This film raises the dilemma of whether the family should have been evicted from the forest or not. Being the forest poses the danger of being attacked and living a lonely life. So, in my opinion, it was wise to evict the family from the forest.

 In conclusion, the film is a representation of some real-life experiences of individuals who isolate themselves from people and prefer living a lonely life. Will and Tom live in the park even though there is the presence of livelihood some meters away. When he is given a job at a local farm, he longs to be in the bushes instead of where there is some form of livelihood. 

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