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Does an actor have to be a Laurence Olivier or a Robert De Niro to be a so-called 'great' actor? Not necessarily. Consider young Ben Tibber, who portrays the central character of this film, I Am David. Ben does more acting, often without saying a word, than I have noticed in a film for a long while. All throughout the film, the mood of the scene is set just by the expression on his face, especially his eyes, and he can change it in an instant. I watched this young actor in total amazement. We follow David on his solo journey of escape from a brutal communist labor camp to a land very vague in his mind, Denmark. There are many beautiful scenes of colorful villages and towns, fields of sunflowers and sweeping vistas of the hills and valleys that we share with David, in sharp contrast to the horrifying memories of life in the labor camp, that haunts him. Those that helped him escape gave him one primary rule: don't trust anyone! As David travels along the roads to his destiny he meets many characters along the way and we wonder, will he, or should he, trust this person? As the viewer, we desperately want somebody to comfort and assist this wonderful boy. The veteran actress, Joan Plowright, splendidly portrays one of those characters that David encounters; but can he confide in her to help him on his way? The director and screenwriter, Paul Feig, doesn't rush the story, although it does move very quickly at the end. Mostly, he lets us observe David as the boy wisely and carefully analyzes each situation as it develops. The end of the film wraps up nicely with a very surprising and interesting revelation of the storyline. I watched this film at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis and had great expectations upon going in to see it. I was not disappointed. I Am David, is an outstanding film.
Loved the Movie! One of the most faithful renditions of a book to screen....gripping adventure....wonderful scenery, great characters, heartfelt acting, both funny and sad at the same time. Beautiful Photography, many of the scenes would be great standalone still photos. Felt like I went on vacation in Europe watching this picture. About time we have a movie without gratuitous sex and violence, and a break from reality programming, that has come to the point of offering live, real-time war as an option. Am surprised that many of the professional reviews seem to have been written by people with no background for this type of movie, and just don't get it. Waiting to see more from this director, Paul Feig.
I have read Anne Holm's I am David dozens of times since I first
stumbled upon it as a 12 year old. It has been one of those novels that
have remained with me, not just the pages, not just the story, but the
way it has moved me and guided many of my decisions in life. I
personally empathised with David, having been an abused child and when
at 13 I became a state ward, the impossibility of trusting others to
care for me were mirrored in David's own situation. This just to
demonstrate how significant this work has been in my own development
and connected I am with David's story.
When I heard there was a film made of this story, I was suspicious that it could not hope to reach the depths of the novel, particularly as one of the fundamental points of the novel had been changed and primarily because much of the 'action' in the novel occurs inside David's mind.
The film is significantly different to the novel in a few key details and yet it has managed to capture the essential soul of the novel, something I applaud and profoundly appreciate. Whilst the means of achieving the result is different, I was still left, as I always am when I read the story, with a deep sense of truth and love winning out over darkness and hatred. I was moved to tears once again and for all the same reasons and for that I would just like to say thank you to those involved.
I could not recommend this novel or film more deeply, particularly to those who's lives have been controlled by others who don't have their best interests at heart and who feel unable to regain control themselves. This above all things is a tribute to the ability of one who has no control and no idea how to gain control of their own lives succeeding in just that, without use of force, without manipulation or dishonesty, but simply with conviction that the goal must be achieved for whatever reason, because to not achieve it is to invite death and darkness upon yourself and upon all you touch in your life.
There's just so much to say about "I am David" that I feel like I can't
get it all in. From the directing, to the script; from the photography
to the acting... it all just works.
This movie is a breath of fresh air from the Hollywood machine that churns out lifeless epics, tasteless comedies, and meaningless dramas in the name of money. "I Am David" aims not to collect big at the box office, but to convey passion and art through cinema.
It follows the escape of a young boy named David from a concentration camp during the Bulgarian War. Carrying only a small satchel with a mysterious envelope and a few other items, David sets across the countryside to reach Denmark. He doesn't know (and neither do we until the end) why he's going to Denmark or what's in the envelope; he's just doing as instructed by a mentor at the concentration camp.
The characters in the film are phenomenal. Jim Caviezel's character is surprisingly absent for most of the film; but nevertheless is an integral part of the story. (I have yet to see him in a role that I didn't like.) I don't think you could draw up a more perfect child actor for the role of David than Ben Tibber. His performance in this movie is Oscar-worthy to me. And Joan Plowright (you'll recognize her from "Dennis the Menace") is verrrrry convincing in her role. Director Paul Feig has a cameo in the movie.
The soundtrack and colors work wonders; taking your breath away with each shot. The Damien Rice piece at the end is very heartfelt and true to the movie as well. The limited dialogue makes the characters seem simple, yet true to life.
Without giving too much away, I highly recommend this movie to EVERYONE. It's charming, funny, sad, and inspirational. Most movies these days have no redeeming value whatsoever, but with "David" this is not the case. It saddens me that Americans would prefer the rehashed, regurgitated crap of Hollywood over this brilliant work of art. I'm not familiar with Feig's work, but following this movie, I'm going to be sure to check out other works by him.
Please watch this one. It's a real winner.
Greetings again from the darkness. A very touching, heartfelt film without the Hollywood gloss, "I Am David" takes us on a journey of hope and discovery. We get to experience the world through the eyes of a first timer. Ben Tibber (a child actor well-schooled at the Tiny Tim role) follows the advice he is given prior to his escape from concentration camp as his journey takes him throughout Europe. While in the camp, David befriends Jim Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ" and the upcoming Bobby Jones biopic). Caviezil's courageous death sets in motion the plan to allow for David's escape. Tibber's expressive eyes and the breathtaking countryside scenery carry the film until Joan Plowright explodes on the screen. The movie really gains spirit at this point, but regrettably, this is also where it appears the producers ran out of money. The last 10 minutes of the film are harried and rushed with little dialogue. The result is a wonderful ending spoiled. Still, the film is a delight to watch and will tug at your heartstrings as you admire and pull for David to complete his journey. Couldn't help but notice that at the concentration camp, The Man is played by Bulgarian actor Hristo Shopov, who also played (to a chilling effect) Pontius Pilate is "The Passion of the Christ".
This movie speaks to the purest parts of the soul, beckoning the viewer
to take not just a journey with David, but to the innermost parts of
If you know someone who is crying out to be heard and understood, someone desperately seeking a safe person to reach out to but doesn't know how to take that first step.....encourage them to go on a journey with this young boy through a harrowing physical and emotional journey of his life.
This movie touched me in a way that very few have. In fact, it moved me so much I had to tell many friends and family members and they too agreed...it is a beautiful story to watch and celebrate. Some have emailed me the day after and said...."We were up late at night with our son...clapping and crying during the final scenes." To the cast and crew of this film....thanks for using your talents to warm our hearts and help us believe again in the good hearts of those around us.
In a day when few films are wholesome or uplifting, this film was a
breath of fresh air. All those who have made negative remarks about Ben
Tibber's performance - it is clear you have never met anyone from
Bulgaria. His stoic and serious role was accurate and well done.
As I did not know anything about this movie when I watched it, it seemed slow and at times frustrating. However, I am extremely glad I watched the entire film, as the message of this film is outstanding.
It is unfortunate that many have forgotten that films can be educational as well as entertaining, and uplifting as well as meaningful. Children and adults alike can learn history through films such as I Am David, as they experience stories they may have forever been ignorant of if not for the makers of this film.
It is sad to see sorrow in the eyes of children. This is a story for any age group, the innocence of a child, the love of an older woman and the kindness of strangers. This movie moved me and made a broader statement about us as humans. I would encourage everyone to watch it. It is a story of strength and struggle and the kindness of strangers. It is about finding refuge in the darkest of places. I was so moved and cried but this is not a tear fest it is a story of hope and the colors and imagery are beautiful. The words are poignant and the sentiments are heart reaching I cannot put it into words you must see this film. The music the lines all are crafted to leave you feeling resolved at the end of the movie you are not at all left hanging. The movie appeals to any persons humanitarian side. Is there a soundtrack? I really loved the music Rice's song is captivating and appropraite for the ending.
I loved this movie. The soundtrack was awesome, and the boy who played
David is a very engaging actor. He is so convincing as a child who has
never known anything but brutality, suddenly finding himself in the
free world, and learning to relate to people who are normal.
Joan Plowright is one of my favorite actresses, and as always, she was a joy to watch in this story.
It really is too bad that more movies of this caliber are not made more often. I am not really a person who can sit still for most movies. It took my daughter five days to rope me into watching this one, but in the end, I was really glad she did. Since we were watching the DVD, we were able to see the deleted scenes - they were as good as the movie itself and I couldn't understand why they were taken out. I wouldn't mind owning it this flick.
I also would love to own the soundtrack.
In 1952, the polyglot twelve year-old David (Ben Tibber), who was
raised in the Communist Belene Prison Camp in Bulgaria, witnesses the
death of his friend and protector Johannes (Jim Caviezel) and escapes
from the concentration camp in the night. He is advised to mistrust
everybody and together with a piece of bread, a compass, a piece of
soap, a jackknife and a sealed envelope to be delivered in Denmark, he
travels though Greece and Italy heading North. Along his journey, David
discovers the beauty of the world and slowly he changes his behavior
with people. When he meets Sophie (Joan Plowright), an old lady that
lives in Switzerland and likes to paint as hobby, she asks David to
paint his face; later she invites David to have lunch with her in her
house, and David finally discloses his quest to her.
"I Am David" is a magnificent journey to the goodness of people. The expressive Ben Tibber has a stunning performance in the role of the boy David, who was raised confined in a concentration camp and surrounded by cruelties, that begins to smile and trust people along his travel through Europe. It is amazing how this young actor is able to transmit these sensations and emotions through his face and eyes. Joan Plowright performs a wise old woman that teaches David that most of the people are good and opens his heart. The direction, performances, cinematography, locations, pace, message etc., everything works perfectly in this great movie. Last but not the least, the conclusion is heartbreaking. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
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