Leave No Trace stars Ben Foster as a father who provides for his child in an unconventional way and what happens as a result.

Based on the book My Abandonment by Peter Rock, the movie Leave No Trace follows a man and his 13 year old daughter as they are discovered living in a nature preserve near Portland, Oregon.

Based on a True Story

The character of Tom in the film is based on the character of Caroline in the book who is, in turn, based on a real 13 year old girl spotted in the backwoods of a nature preserve by an off-trail runner. The runner reported the sighting to the authorities; and because of this a search led to not only the girl’s discovery, but the discovery of her father as well.

As in the book and the film, the young girl and her father had built a home in the woods, which included a septic system, a library, and a well-structured shelter. The father and daughter would take occasional trips to Portland in order to gather supplies. The father, a veteran and unable to hold down a job, home-schooled his daughter; leaving her more knowledgeable and ahead of other kids her age. Despite the unconventional living arrangements, it was clear he provided as best as he could for his daughter.

Although the authorities worked with the father and daughter to find a suitable living and working situation, the father’s paranoia took over. One night the duo disappeared, never to be seen again. This true story inspired My Abandonment and ultimately, the upcoming film, Leave No Trace.

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Leave No Trace Trailer

Starring Ben Foster as Will, the father, and Thomasin McKenzie as Tom, the daughter; the trailer seems to follow the real account and retelling by Peter Rock closely. Directed by Debra Granik, the film looks to be both fascinating and heart-wrenching.

Still looking for more information? Watch as Peter Rock recounts the story mentioned above as inspiration for his book: