In memory of Christopher Johnson McCandless
February 12, 1968 - August 18, 1992
Christopher McCandless: I'm going to Alaska.
Wayne Westerberg: Alaska, Alaska? Or city Alaska? Because they do have markets in Alaska. The city of Alaska. Not in Alaska. In the city of Alaska, they have markets.
Christopher McCandless: No, man. Alaska, Alaska. I'm gonna be all the way out there, all the way fucking out there. Just on my own. You know, no fucking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild.
Wayne Westerberg: In the wild.
Christopher McCandless: Just wild!
Wayne Westerberg: Yeah. What are you doing when we're there? Now you're in the wild, what are we doing?
Christopher McCandless: You're just living, man. You're just there, in that moment, in that special place and time. Maybe when I get back, I can write a book about my travels.
Wayne Westerberg: Yeah. Why not?
Christopher McCandless: You know, about getting out of this sick society. Society!
Wayne Westerberg: [coughs] Society! Society!
Christopher McCandless: Society, man! You know, society! Cause, you know what I don't understand? I don't understand why people, why every fucking person is so bad to each other so fucking often. It doesn't make sense to me. Judgment. Control. All that, the whole spectrum. Well, it just...
Ron Franz: I'm going to miss you when you go.
Christopher McCandless: I will miss you too, but you are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships. God's place is all around us, it is in everything and in anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at things.
Ron Franz: Yeah. I am going to take stock of that. You know I am. I want to tell you something. From bits and pieces of what you have told me about your family, your mother and your dad... And I know you have problems with the church too... But there is some kind of bigger thing that we can all appreciate and it sounds to me you don't mind calling it God. But when you forgive, you love. And when you love, God's light shines through you.
Christopher McCandless: I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth.
Christopher McCandless: Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.
Christopher McCandless: If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.
Christopher McCandless: Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. - Alexander Supertramp May 1992
Christopher McCandless: The sea's only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
Christopher McCandless: The freedom and simple beauty is too good to pass up...
[first title card]
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more...
- Lord Byron
[last title cards]
In memory of Christopher Johnson McCandless, February 1968 - August 1992
Two weeks after Chris's death, moose hunters discovered his body in the bus.
[This self-portrait was found undeveloped in his camera]
On September 19, 1992, Carine McCandless flew with her brother's ashes from Alaska to the eastern seaboard. She carried them with her on the plane... in her backpack.
The filmmakers thank Jon Krakauer for his guidance and gratefully acknowledge Walt, Billie, Carine and the entire McCandless family for their brave support in the making of this film.
Christopher McCandless: What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?
[written into book] Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless, August 1992"