Ricky Baker, a juvenile delinquent who was abandoned by his mother, is taken to live in a remote farm with foster mother Bella and her husband, the cantankerous Hec. When Bella suddenly passes away and Hec tells Ricky that child services will take him back, Ricky ineptly fakes his suicide by burning a barn and runs away into the bush, where he is completely unable to cope and gets lost. Hec finds him easily but injures his leg in a fall, forcing the two to camp for a while. The authorities meanwhile find the house empty and the barn burnt down, and conclude that the bereaved and mentally unstable Hec has abducted Ricky. A national manhunt ensues, and the two slowly bond while working together to escape arrest.
Essentially a coming-of-age-story crossed with a buddy movie, set in New Zealand, this is not the sort of film that immediately jumps off the shelf, but it’s a quite fabulous piece of cinema. Hunt for the wilderpeople is also fearless when it comes to tackling tough issues from a comedic perspective, so whether it’s Ricky adapting to a new foster family, grieving the death of Bella or trying to survive in the bush, everything is done with a sense of fun and wonder.
This clip takes place early in the film. After a few nights staying with Bella, this clip sees Ricky receiving emotional support for the first time in his life. However, Bella dies leaving Ricky and Hec bereaved. A funeral then sees an unconventional sermon delivered by the minister.
- At the start of the clip, how would you describe the relationship between Ricky and Bella?
- Can you plot the different emotions felt by Ricky in the clip?
- What are your thoughts on the minister’s sermon during the funeral? Did his message make sense?
- Is there a correct way to respond to bereavement?
Read Psalm 34 together. (It would be worth reading about the context and background of this passage before presenting it, in particular 1 Samuel 21:10–15.) After reading the passage, explore the following questions:
- What benefits are mentioned in verses 1 to 10 that come to those who seek God’s help?
- Is it right to ‘fear’ God?
- What do you think the meaning of verse 8 is?
- If being righteous doesn’t guarantee a pain-free life, what assurances of comfort do Christians have in times of trouble?