A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.
Natanaël, seven, still doesn't know how to read. His eccentric old aunt bequeaths her house to his parents and her book collection to the young boy. Nat discovers that the books serve as a ... See full summary »
1882, Saint Petersburg. Sasha, a young Russian aristocrat, has always been fascinated by her grandfather's life as an adventurer. A renowned explorer, he designed a magnificent arctic ship, but he hasn't returned from his last expedition to the North Pole. To save her family's honor, Sasha runs away. Headed towards the Great North, she follows her grandfather's trail in search of his famous ship.Written by
The dog is called Schackle, probably honoring the great explorer, Ernest Schackleton, however in 1882, Schackleton was only 8 years old, not a very renowned adventurer yet. See more »
So where is the North Pole?
On the top of the world! It's very cold there like a white desert. You have to walk for miles and miles on ice fields, with sleighs and dogs. But it's so beautiful... And what do we do when we reach the Pole, my Sashenka?
We plant the flag!
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After the credits, a short scene shows the flag Oloukine planted blowing away. See more »
Once started I couldn't stop watching it. As others have commented, this is a film that draws you in very easily and doesn't let go.
I love the mood of the piece, even though the spoken language is French, it is not too difficult to believe the Russian backdrop with its practical and down to earth characters who are a largely likable bunch. Though they are mostly lacking in sentimentality, yet they are gently encouraging and unexpectedly generous to the heroine through her hardships.
The visual style also suits the film perfectly and though deceptively simple, manages to fully convey the emotion of each character as well as the setting of each scene, which is at times hauntingly beautiful.
The story is a familiar one of perseverance in the face of adversity and it is easy to cheer the heroine on as she tries to adjust and overcome the obstacles she encounters.
The ending is a little abrupt until you watch the credits that continue the rest of the story, right to the close.
Touching, affirming and highly recommended.
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