I Am David chronicles a young boy's struggle to freedom from a post-WWII labour camp, across Europe to Copenhagen, Denmark with nothing but a compass to guide the way, an unopened letter and a little food to eat. With the help of his only friend, fellow prisoner and mentor Johannes (Jim Caviezel), David learns there is more to life than the camp he has grown up in. When he is helped to escape the horrors of the camp, he embarks on an incredible journey of self-discovery and awakening, and experiences a world where joy also exists not just cruelty and suffering. Based on the internationally acclaimed young adult novel by Anne Holm, I Am David celebrates the unconquerable human spirit and captures the thrill of a child tasting the wonders and excitement of life for the first time.
This fiction is stranger than truth
- I Am David review by Swambi
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You rated this film: 3
This is a strange film. It is set as a road story of a traumatised teenager travelling across post-war Europe, with little more than a compass, and with flashbacks to the appalling prison camp he has left, and a beautiful woman, whose identity is never clear until the end. The scenes individually can be attractive and reasonably filmed and there is some excellent music, and a positive message, and so may appeal particularly if you like sentimental encounters.
However, unless you can totally disengage your rationality, the chances any of this ever actually happening, or everyone being happily able to communicate in English, are clearly zero, making it impossible to engage with the film. The combination of a wooden David a random selection of encounters, and periodic flashbacks gives the whole film a discontinuity, and although I enjoyed some of the characters and the scenery, overall I felt that the film was poorly produced and failed to respect viewers' common sense (by expecting them to believe the impossible).