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A pair of children befriend an accentric old man, who lives isolated on the far shore of their island home. But it turns out that the old man knows a terrible secret about the island and the narwhales who sometimes come. Meanwhile WWI is making life hard in the village. Written by
This is a superb film, designed for the entire family. A fascinating script, first-rate acting, glorious scenery (shot on location in remote islands off of England), and memorable music help make this film a classic. It is set in 1914, and World War One plays a role in the story. But the time is basically irrelevant; the place is not. The story is about a legendary curse, a man who survived it, and an opportunity to lift it, focusing on the destruction and preservation of an extremely rare form of whale.
At its conclusion, I asked my wife, "How could a film like this be made today?" I still don't know. But let us give thanks that we still have enough imagination and basic decency to film a fairy tale with messages that are eternal. It remains an incredible artistic scandal that a movie of this quality has not appeared on DVD.
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