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A reckless youth is destined to become the greatest sorcerer that the mystical land of Earthsea has ever known. When the young wizard Ged discovers that he possesses infinite magical powers, he seeks to master the ancient arts. As he journeys to manhood, he will combat dragons, fall in love, cross death's threshold, and ultimately wield the power to reunite a kingdom. Written by
This was the most appalling adaptation of a story I have seen in quite some time. It does violence to the fundamental story line of LeGuin's books--no wonder she has publicly distanced herself from it.
For one thing, Ged (that's his true name, by the way, and everyone on Earthsea has them) is not a petulant teenager. He is impetuous, but not petulant. There was also no Christian subtext in the books. Ged did not rise from the dead; he was re-born when he received his true name, but that happened when he was seven, and is something he shares with every other Archipelagan.
The people of the Archipelago are red-brown to black. They are not pasty Chlorox white. A series that had non-whites as its protagonists was a rare thing in the sixties and seventies--whites don't need to appropriate this one now.
The God-King was not trying to conquer all of Earthsea in order to conquer death. He does not succeed in an attack on Roke, and he does not knife the Archmage.
Normally, I understand the compromises necessary to translate a book to a film. The two move at different paces and have different story telling needs. So if dialogue wanders, or secondary plots disappear--fine, so long as the original author's intent and main story line are preserved. This adaptation (in which the producer, Robert Halmi, claimed to speak for Ms. LeGuin (and called her "miss"--MISS, to a woman who has been in the forefront of feminism for over thirty years!!!!!!!)) did not even maintain the same story or the same intent. LeGuin has noted that the whole story revolves around two young people coming into their power--and the responsibilities and problems thereof. There was none of that in this story. For shame, anyone responsible for decisions about this film: you did terrible work this time around.
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