Affectionate, careful children's film not only children can appreciate
This is the first film version of the famous children's book by Johanna Spyri in German language. It tells the story of a little swiss girl who lives with her grandfather Alp-Öhi solitarily in the swiss mountains. Someday Heidi is taken away to Frankfurt/Germany where she makes friends with Clara, a little girl who sits in a wheelchair, but becomes homesick... "Heidi" is a carefully made, affectionate film with good actors and good direction by Luigi Comencini, an Italian director who has had made some film in the neorealistic style and later entertainment films with the best known Italian actors. The film certainly benefits by the fact it was made in Switzerland, where the story in fact takes place. The style of this film is influenced by the visually ambitious so called "Bergfilme" (mountain-films) for example by Arnold Fanckh or Luis Trenker, as well as it seems influenced a little by the style of the Italian "Neorealism". This film version even tells about the social reality of the 19th century. Enjoyable is it's absence of kitsch so many mountain-films as well as children's films are infected by.
A good film. (Much better than it's sequel "Heidi und Peter" which I saw the day after)
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