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Is Woodshock a True Story?

June 20, 2020
3 min read

Some movies are driven by plot while others by a particular character. Tons of them are often driven by loosely connected action sequences. However, there are few movies that are driven by a particular emotion since that is the hardest thing to pull off. While movies often have multiple themes, centering a film around a particular emotion and exploring it deeply and introspectively often proves to be extremely difficult. This is exactly what ‘Woodshock’ pulls off maturely. At first, it might seem to be yet another movie centering around a drug-induced hallucination but it is much more than that.

To begin with, ‘Woodshock’ tells the story of a woman named Theresa who stays in the countryside. She has a boyfriend named Nick and a friend, Keith, whose cannabis dispensary she works at. Theresa helps her terminally ill mother die peacefully by making her smoke a poison-laced joint. An old man named Ed asks her for poison-laced weed at the dispensary later. However, Theresa ends up mistakenly giving poison-laced marijuana to a young man named Johnny.

This leads to a downward spiral for Theresa for whom guilt and grief take over completely. She prepares multiple poison-laced joints in order to commit suicide herself. As she smokes them gradually, she starts to get powerful hallucinations while her life disintegrates further. The character of Theresa is essayed by Kirsten Dunst. Dunst is known for appearing in several prominent productions such as ‘Jumanji,’ ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Fargo,’ and several others. Apart from her, Pilou Asbæk of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame is also a part of the movie’s cast. Other cast members include Joe Cole and Steph DuVall. ‘Woodshock’ is written and directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy.

Is Woodshock Based on a True Story?

Several viewers would have wondered whether ‘Woodshock’ is based on a true story or not. While the hallucinations would have been largely fictional, viewers might have mulled over the story of Theresa and whether it is based on an actual person.

Well, the story of Theresa is completely fictional. However, the way her character was conceived is certainly interesting.  “We started out wanting to tell a story about the redwood forest in Humboldt County,” Laura Mulleavy told Variety. “From that landscape we developed the character of Theresa (Dunst), and think of her as a creation myth: a woman who was birthed out of the landscape and beauty and destruction.”

The Redwood forests have been around for several years. The lifespan of redwood trees, after all, is 500 to 700 years! “When Redwood National Park was created in 1968, it incorporated three of these parks, Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, and Prairie Creek, totaling 58,000 acres” (source). However, the destruction that Laura Mulleavy refers to has to do with the threat that the forests face due to logging. In the movie, Theresa’s boyfriend is depicted to be a logger. “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, loggers pushed westward across the continent, cutting down mile after mile of the nation’s primeval forests. Today, almost all of the old-growth forests are gone. The ancient trees that remain are found along the Pacific.” It ought to be noted, however, that the movie does NOT tell the story of the Redwood forests, and is just inspired by it.

Read More: Woodshock Ending, Explained

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