Even though I lost interest in television years ago, I still
enjoy watching movies. I usually borrow DVDs from the library. I often have little
idea what I’m getting into and this is a hit-or-miss way of film watching.
Still, I come across some very interesting films by this open-minded way of selecting
DVDs. The film Off the Map captured
my attention immediately with its cinematography—stunning cloudscapes of New Mexico’s desert—and unusual characters that I can’t help admire.
I’m captivated by off-grid living and ways of being that are
more in tune with nature. The way the couple in the film respectfully parent
their daughter, Bo, in many ways, is what I aspire to accomplish with my own
daughter. In fact, I don’t think they ever say “No” to their daughter—ever. Bo
says and does as she pleases. She has a mind of her own that tends toward imaginative
thinking and a thoughtful/loving nature. She does do a few alarming things
though that her mother, Arlene, handles with grace and calm. In fact, I’m not
sure anyone could be as non-reactive and relaxed as Arlene is portrayed, which
leads to my favourite scene in the film...
William, the IRS agent that is sent to audit the family, has
an allergic reaction to a bee sting and finds himself at the mercy of this unconventional family. As he’s recovering, he can’t help but fall in love with the
beauty of the desert and the free-spirited
Arlene. When he declares that he’s in love with Arlene and cannot hide it, she
says, “That’s good.” There’s no ego in her response, it’s that she understands
how love happens when your heart
opens up to life. She tells William that New Mexico is a powerful place and
that he should take as much time as he needs (and remain with the family) until
he gets his bearings. When he asks if her husband will mind, she confidently
says no. Later in the film, it’s apparent that the husband is as benevolent
as Arlene is. He makes his own brotherly (fatherly?) connection with William that
is most loving and healing for everyone involved.