Thursday, December 15, 2005

I Am David

No, I'm not David. But there's a little-known film out on DVD called I Am David that stars Ben Tibber, Jim Caviezel and Joan Plowright. Hristo Naumov Shopov, the Romanian who played Pilate in The Passion of the Christ, is also in it, though not credited.

It's a low-budget film and you can tell it to a certain degree in the scenery and some other aspects. But that and one choice of music are really my only complaints about this film. Otherwise, it's absolutely fantastic.

David is a boy who has been raised in a Soviet labor camp in Bulgaria and lost both of his parents to the regime. We meet him as he is escaping from the camp with help from someone, though we are not sure whom. He carries with him some papers that he is not allowed to look at or let anyone else see until he gets to Denmark. As he makes his way down to Greece to get on a ship bound for Italy and on his journey through Italy to get to Denmark, he has flashbacks of his time in the camp, especially of a man named Johannes (Caviezel).

The voice we hear telling David how to escape tells him to trust no one, something David keeps in his mind. But he's obviously torn as he meets up with all kinds of people who could help him very easily if he would but open himself to them.

As David has more flashbacks, we see more of what has happened in the labor camp with Johannes. We know at the outset of the film that Johannes has been shot in one of those infamous concentration camp line-ups, but we don't know why. As time goes on though, what we find is Caviezel in another Christ-like role and Naumov Shopov in an almost Pilate-like role.

Catholic imagery abounds in this film and one of the final scenes is nearly too rich in it to describe as we hear Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus being sung by a small-town church choir (actually it's the Westminster Choir, I believe, but the actors make it look pretty authentic).

Get this film and soak it in. Lessons about trust, love, sacrifice and redemption are all in it.

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