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Captain Fantastic

The Cash Family lives in a cabin in the Pacific Northwest, as far away from capitalism, commodity fetishism, and the evils of “The Man” as they can get. When Ben’s wife Leslie dies, Ben is forced to travel to mainstream America with his kids.


Hippies, cults, sects – society stigmatizes the lifestyle of the Cash family just because it doesn’t fit the norm. Ben and his wife Leslie are both academic Americans with a bourgeois background. They made the decision to raise their children in a forest hut in the Pacific Northwest far away from the outside world. Ben teaches them how to survive. Everyone gets a hunting knife on “Noam Chomsky Day”. There is always love and understanding. But then Ben is left alone with six children and each one of his children has to deal with the loss of their mother and growing up in individual ways. Ben has to realize that he can no longer hide them from the world and so a journey back into society begins; a society that seems quite absurd to the family.
Matt Ross has created a private utopia of survivalism and capitalist critique in his second feature film. A childhood in the middle of nature is enviable, but Ross doesn’t glorify the problems attached with living in nonconformist isolation in the middle of North American consumer society. Viggo Mortensen embodies the head of the household with impressive presence while being gentle and relentlessly honest. He is also uncompromising when it comes to fighting for his family and his ideals. Similar to Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s INTO THE WILD, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC questions the social structure in the US and offers a perhaps idealist but not less realistic lifestyle. Matt Ross has made a smart, reflective film which won the Prix Un Certain Regard in Cannes this year.

Lars Tunçay

Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA 2016, 118 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Matt Ross
Author: Matt Ross
DOP: Stéphane Fontaine
Distributor: Universum/24 Bilder
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Steve Zahn, George Mackay, Annalise Basso, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn
FSK: 12
Release: 18.08.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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