In his 2009 novel, "My Abandonment," Portland writer Peter Rock told the story of a 13-year-old girl and her father, living in Forest Park. Rock's acclaimed novel was inspired by stories in The Oregonian, which reported the true story of a girl and her father who spent four years living in a homemade shelter in the park.
Now the story is becoming a movie, which will star Ben Foster (who costars in the Oscar-nominated "Hell or High Water"), and be directed by Debra Granik, whose impressive "Winter's Bone" gave Jennifer Lawrence her breakout role.
Thomasin McKenzie will play the daughter in the film, which is scheduled to start shooting in Portland in April.
As Deadline reports, the movie is adapted from Rock's novel by Granik and Anne Rosellini.
Rock, who teaches creative writing at Reed College, talked about his novel and the real story that inspired it in a 2009 Oregonian/OregonLive article.
The camp was, the article says, "only a few hundred yards above Saint Helens Road." The father and daughter were discovered in 2004, when runners found the camp.
As the article says, police came and a police dog found the father, whose daughter was hiding not far away. From the article:
"She was clean and well-behaved, smart and devoted to her father, who thought Forest Park was better than life on the street. Something about them struck a chord with people who wondered how they could live in deep woods so close to the city. People donated thousands of dollars to a fund set up for Ruth's education, and a Portland police sergeant arranged for them to live on a horse farm in Yamhill County. An editorial in The Oregonian said 'their story deserves to be turned into a children's classic, like 'My Side of the Mountain.'"
But the story took another turn when the father and daughter apparently ran away, and disappeared to, possibly, live on their own again.
-- Kristi Turnquist
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