The other night Ethan asked me to find something on VidAngel to watch as a weekend treat, and nothing was jumping out at me. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I have never before shared with him my favorite movie; I Am David.
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This was a wonderful film released in 2003, based on a book originally published as “North to Freedom” by Anne Holm. It chronicles the journey of a young boy who has escaped a prison camp in Bulgaria after WWII with the mysterious help of someone not revealed to us until the end of the film. David is given minutes to escape the camp at night, with instructions to go to Denmark with a sealed envelope and to trust no one. If he is caught before reaching the authorities in Denmark, he will be sent straight back to the camp.
While the movie starts off very gray and dark, it becomes more colorful and beautiful the further away he gets from Bulgaria, despite his understandable paranoia about being caught and sent back.
There are some Catholic elements to this film which I enjoyed, but I think the thing I love most is that it is NOT CHEESY. So often clean films with messages of hope are produced by churches or small companies. They usually come with bad acting and a myriad of sugary sweet, corny lines that read like some impassioned teenagers at youth group wrote the screenplay. From start to finish this film feels authentic.
The end of this movie will stun you when you watch it for the first time if you are like me or anyone else I have shown it to before. David’s flashbacks throughout the film and the revelation of the voice giving him his escape instructions lead up to a great twist as everything all comes together. Ethan’s words were, “whoa! I did not see that coming!”
The film was also cast by the same person who did The Passion of the Christ film. Jim Cavizel is prominent in David’s flashbacks as his friend in the camp, as well as the actors who played Pilate and St. Peter.
You can stream this film here.
You can buy this film here.
You can buy the book here.
Have you seen I Am David before? I’d love to know your thoughts if you have.
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