Friday, February 27, 2009

Reading and Watching

I revisited a childhood favorite last week and wanted to share. I am David is a story about a twelve year old boy who escapes from a labor camp in Eastern Europe. It was originally published in Denmark in 1963.

I'm not sure at what age I first read this book (the first English translation was titled North to Freedom, a much less fitting title), but it captivated me. Out of my regular sphere of reading, I am David was at once tragic and hopeful. The book follows David's escape, aided by an unlikely prison guard, and his journey to Denmark. Having spent his whole life in the labor camp, David struggles to adapt to his freedom and the new experiences and people he encounters.

David grows in his appreciation for beauty, trust in others, and his child-like faith in God. One feels privileged to share the journey with him. Highly recommended.

If you are looking for a deep family film (though there are intense scenes not necessarily appropriate for young children), I am David was adapted into movie form by Walden Media. Jim Caviezel plays a role in this rich film. I was disappointed that the movie didn't follow the book more closely, but it is still a worthwhile experience.

Speaking of interesting movies, has anyone viewed Bella? I had no idea what to expect, and I ended up sitting entranced for the whole movie (unusual for me). It is filmed very artistically, and has a haunting mood. When it was finished, I sat, a bit stunned, wondering what had just happened. Do you ever feel like that after watching a movie?

Bella isn't a straightforward story, in which you are spoon-fed the plot and moral. At times I was lost when the time-line jumped around, but I felt as if I was supposed to be feeling the story rather than following it.

This is not a family movie, but I would recommend Bella if you are in the mood for something out of the ordinary. I would love to hear opinions of the movie if you've watched it!


Shell in your Pocket said...

That first movie sounds great...I am going to look for it. I have never heard of Bella..yes, I have sat and ended a movie..thinking what just happened here?
sandy toe

Anonymous said...

I really liked the movie Bella. I too felt a little stunned at the end. It left me wanting more, but in a good way. And I did shed a few tears. I loved how I didn't really know where the story was going.

Amy Jones

Molly Anne said...

I will have to add I Am David to my Netflix list and the book to my library requests.

I recently watched The Fall which was absolutely gorgeous but I sat there the entire time going, Whaaaat?"

So I understand the feeling!

jodi said...

i felt the exact same way watching bella. for me, it was refreshing to view a movie that i had no idea what to expect.

as for reading, i have a question... my just turned 6yo boy is a voracious reader, and my typical list for progressive reading seems a bit mature for him. although my oldest 5 have gone through a similar list, they were either mature enough to handle it, or older when they got to this point. i'm referring to books like "i am david" and "a taste of blackberries" and "the night the bell rang" etc.

and i'm concerned too that even if he does read it, and may not be bothered by the story, he wouldn't truly appreciate the nature of the story--do you know what i mean? like sounder--he could handle reading it, but his goal is still to get through the book, not necessarily chew on it for thought.

so how do *you* determine whether the timing is right for a certain book?

hope that question makes sense--
p.s. how is your health? i revisited my prayer list from a while back and prayed that you've resolved all the unpleasantries you were experiencing--

thebookbaglady said...

"I Am David" sounds like it is right up our alley. At the moment, we are engrossed in ''Number The Stars" and I'm hoping to capture a bit more of the realities of WWII through literature. Thanks for the information!

Anonymous said...

I loved "Bella" and am still a bit stunned a long time later. I am thinking I watched it on a plane and I couldn't remember the name of it later. Thanks for the reminder!


Neisey said...

Ahh yes. I watched Bella a few months ago and really liked it.

Torey said...

I loved Bella. Watched it twice and found even more to think about the second time around.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Bella also. At the end I had to just think for awhile until I figured out "what just happened(?)". I watched it a second time with the directors comments and liked the movie even more. :-)

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