Wildcat and the Meaning Crisis

I watched this documentary on prime video and can’t get it out of my mind. It’s one of the best portraits of the existential angst our young people are going through that I have seen. The young man is in pain and the young woman cannot help him because she is just as lost, though she has better emotional control and is more secure in her place in the world.

Throughout the film the extensively tattooed English boy is in deep despair, especially when the things he thought would bring him happiness do not. He frequently “needs” to cut himself in order to be shocked back into reality. He trades physical pain for the emotional pain which is so much worse. The boy had been to war in Afghanistan and came out deeply disturbed by what he witnessed. He is trying to find his place in the world by “doing something good,” that is, raising and releasing ocelot cubs into the jungle in Peru. His gratitude and relief are overwhelming when he finally succeeds.

After his first cub was killed by a gun-trap, it threw the boy into a deepening spiral of depression, and he becomes estranged from his girlfriend and co-worker. He is isolated and self-absorbed – just like so many of our young people who desperately need to experience the love of God and to know they are important and cherished in the universe, that their lives are not meaningless. This boy is on a deep search for God. He is on a serious quest for true and personal meaning.

At the end of the film, the love of his family seems to stabilize him; he finds a purpose in life, and we feel he will be alright, but how many will not? How many lost little souls commit suicide each year out of sheer confusion?

Our vines have tender grapes, and our children cannot live on bread alone.