I Am David
An extraordinary family adventure, “I Am David” follows a 12 year-old boy as he boldly escapes from an East European prison camp and makes an incredible personal journey to freedom. Fleeing with only a compass, half a loaf of bread and a sealed letter he must carry across the continent, David cannot foresee the dramatic odyssey that awaits him. From stowing away on a ship bound for Italy, to facing his fears of the dangerous outside world, to the unexpected revelation of his true identity, David discovers for the first time the real meaning of courage, trust, laughter and hope.
Based on the internationally acclaimed young adult novel by Anne Holm, “I Am David” tells the story of David (Ben Tibber), a boy who has grown up a captive in a 1950s labor camp with almost no knowledge of the outside world or what happened to his family. Everything he knows about life has been taught to him by his fellow prisoner and mentor Johannes (Jim Caviezel). One night, David is helped to make a break from the camp and is handed a mysterious letter he is told must reach Denmark, a place he has never heard of, let alone knows how to find. Relying on his wits and courage, David manages to evade the prison commandos, attempt a dangerous border crossing and hides away on a freighter headed for Italy, but his adventure is only just beginning. In Italy, David discovers something beyond his imagination: a country at peace.
David has no idea how to get along in this brave new world, as the only advice he has been given is to trust no one. He doesn’t understand the most basic aspects of everyday life — he doesn’t know what money is or how to use silverware or even how to smile. It’s as if he must learn how to live in the world from scratch and each day brings both shocking new terrors and exhilarating new pleasures. When David is taken in by a kind aristocratic Italian family, he is so happy to at last have a home, he almost gives up on his quest to reach Denmark. But the journey must go on. Haunted by memories, David crosses into Switzerland, where he meets an Sophie (Joan Plowright), an artist recovering from her own tragedy, and the woman who will help him find the key to his identity and his destiny at last.
This film chronicles the trials and joys of young David’s journey across eastern Europe, beginning with a daring escape from a prison camp to his final destination in Denmark. The back-story is revealed along the way with a series of flashbacks to his painful days as a child and as a fear-filled prisoner. The film is slow moving at first, but keeps the viewer involved until he meets up with an elderly woman artist who takes a special interest in David and his quest. The film’s primary message is that trusting people can sometimes be painful and at other times, rewarding. But, trust and perseverance in this case are worth it in the end. “I Am David” is heartwarming and enchanting story of victory over adversity.