Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

I recently rewatched “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and it is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. It’s a New Zealand film full of New Zealand humor. Using awkward honesty and painfully real humanity, it says things that would typically make me wince, but somehow give me liberty to laugh. And I love it for that.

To make a long story short, a foster kid and his unlikely (and nearly unwilling) foster father get stranded in the wilderness and quickly become subjects of a massive Children’s Division manhunt.

While I wouldn’t recommend it as inspiring, it’s not without its powerful moments. They sneak in, between the hearty guffaws, which surprisingly makes them sink in even more.

Laughter seems to let my walls down and my ears open. And I need more of it.

I need more nuggets like the time Hector (foster father) teaches Ricky (his foster son) about solving problems in the midst of hardship:

“The neck – it’s a way of figuring things out…You know most people who die in the wilderness, they’re found naked. They panic. They think their clothes are slowing them down. They throw them away. Then the cold gets to them. But the trick is – and this is the neck – to stay calm. Look for water. Follow it to high ground until you can see what’s going on.” 

And that’s it. Fantastically practical advice for all foster parents. Stay calm. Wait until you can see what’s going on. And don’t get naked.