The film is produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada. The movie based on the novel of the same title by Jean Hegland is set in the not-too-distant future and follows two sisters who must rely on one another as society crumbles around them and their forest home. Rozema has written the screenplay. Into the Forest is currently in post-production and is expected to premiere in
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The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Hegland, Jean. Into the Forest. Bantam Trade Paperbacks Edition. Into the Forest is a young adult survival novel by Jean Hegland in which teenaged sisters Nell and Eva endeavor to live on after civilization has collapsed. Much of the novel blends together the present and the past as the girls struggle to adapt to a world that has lost its everyday luxuries, and in which survival itself becomes a luxury.
Nell is a very practical, very academic, very careful girl, while Eva is more sensitive, cultured she is a ballerina , and determined to live in the moment while she can. The girls live alone in their family cabin at the end of a forested mountain road some miles from the nearest town Redwood following the death of their mother the previous year from cancer, and the recent accidental death of their father while cutting down trees for firewood.
Early in the novel, both girls seek a return to normalcy. They want to return to the comforts, conditions, and stability of the past. A return to normalcy essentially becomes their reason for living, as the girls ration their food, seek to maintain what they have, and spend time devoting themselves to their previous pursuits.
Nell spends her afternoons preparing for Achievement Tests for application to study at Harvard while Eva rigorously practices her ballet routine. But as time passes, and things like the electricity and the internet fail and gasoline runs short, their world rapidly contracts to the point it consists only of one another. A visit from a young man named Eli whom Nell has romantic feelings for surprises both sisters. Eli reports that most people in town have either left or died from illness, and that he and several others are preparing to trek to Boston where it is rumored life has resumed as normal.
Nell considers joining the expedition, but decides to remain with her sister instead. Things take a dramatic turn for the worst when Eva is raped by a stranger. Nell soothes Eva as she recovers, only to learn Eva is now pregnant. Eva will not even consider an abortion, determined to have a child and to see that some good comes out of their situation. Eva notes that the baby inside her is his own person, and so deserves life. It is Eva who ultimately recognizes that life will never be what it used to be, and so they had better prepare for life as it is rather than waiting for life as it was.
In so doing, Nell and Eva begin to sow crops, can food, and hunt and gather from the forest around them, just as local Indians did many years before. Eva decides they should burn their house, and take to living in the forest with everything they can carry.
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Into the Forest
Into The Forest