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I Am David Review

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A boy grieving for the loss of his only friend makes a journey to Copenhagen to deliver a letter.

★★★★★

In 1952, David (Tibber), who has lived all his life in grim Bulgarian prison camps, escapes and sets off across a gentler Europe, clutching a mysterious letter he's been instructed to deliver to Copenhagen. Haunted by the murder of his only friend (Caviezel), for which he feels responsible, and only dimly remembering lost parents, the unsmiling boy tells whoever he meets that he's with the circus.

The over-the-wire opening promises a grimmer, tougher film than this adaptation of Anne Holm's 'young adult' novel turns out to be. Some episodes (David rescuing a girl from a burning barn) are Disneyish, but Tibber gives a remarkable, restrained performance and Joan Plowright is just right as the kindly but sharp Swiss lady who finally takes an interest in the lad.

A small film, but reasonably affecting.

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