I AM DAVID
(Hristo Shopov as the man)
ORIGINAL TITLE: I am David.
DIRECTED BY: Paul Feig.
MAIN CAST: Ben Tibber, James Caviezel, Joan Plowright, Hristo Shopov, Silvia De Santis, Paco Reconti, Roberto Attias, Francesco De Vito and Maria Bonnevie.
PRODUCED BY: Davina Belling, Lauren Levine and Clive Parsons.
WRITTEN BY: Paul Feig. Based on the novel North to Freedom by Anne Holm.
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY: Stewart Copeland.
RUNTIME: 90 minutes.
GENRE: Drama | Adventure.
In the years during World War II, many people from Eastern Europe were sent into concentration camps to carry out forced work due to their protests against the new political order. Hundreds of families were destroyed.
Life in those camps was very rough and escaping was practically impossible. However, it was the sole hope for a young man called David.
The story begins in Belene prison camp, Bulgaria, 1952. Freedom is just a dream for David, a 12 year-old boy who has grown as a prisoner here since he was captured when he was very young. The only home he knows is the camp, and he has no knowledge of the outside or as to what happened to his family.
The little he knows about his own life is what he has been told from his friend Johannes, who is a prisoner as well. Johannes supports him whenever he can and tries to maintain David’s hopes for survival.
One night, David escapes from the camp with someone’s help, eluding the strict surveillance carried out by the prison commander (Hristo Shopov). The man gives David some essential instructions to succeed in his attempt and provides him with various items which would come in useful for David’s trip: a compass, a piece of bread and a sealed card to be taken to Denmark, the only place where David will finally feel safe, says the man who helps him escape.
The young prisoner must find a way to get out of Bulgaria as soon as possible, reach Greece, then Italy and finally reach the country where he will be safe.
With courage and a thirst for freedom, David follows the instructions, but difficulties appear quickly in the form of the prison camp wardens who are not prepared to let him escape.
This is just the beginning of David’s adventure outside the prison camp. Once free, David experiences new sensations and feelings, but he won’t be aware of the harshness of this new world despite the warnings and bits of advice his supporter gave to him, "don't trust anyone".
David, despite being free, isn’t able to forget a crucial incident that occurred in the concentration camp which involved his friend Johannes.
During the long trip through Western Europe, despite the various dangers and threats, David will meet many different kinds of people, with whom he talks and learns many new lessons about life. Near the Swiss border, he will meet Sophie, an old lady trying to recover from a tragedy, who will love David along with finding the key of his identity and his destiny.
* NOTE: Acclaimed by critics due to the beauty of its message and background, I Am David is "an unusually intelligent adventure film, aimed at younger viewers, which never leaves adults behind". A Hollywood small gem, replete with moral lessons, whose illustrated images may be described as "believing in the power decide your own destiny" or "even in evil there is virtue".
The film has been highly awarded in several cinema contests (Austin Film Festival, Character and Morality in Entertainment Awards, Heartland Film Festival, Monaco International Film Festival...).
Pay special attention to the character played by Hristo Shopov.