Review: Falcon heart – Falkehjerte (1999)

Falcon heart – Falkehjerte (1999)

Directed by: Lars Hesselholdt | 80 minutes | family | Actors: Fanny Bernth, Stefan Jürgens, Alessandro Haber, Loris Tocci, Raimondo Guida, Simone La Vecchia, Mirko Casaburo, Lina Sastri, Kristian Emdal, Sebastian Jessen, Aksel Leth, Christina Meyer, Sasia Mølgaard, Ramona Prisco, Henrik Rasmussen

What do you do when you live for birds as a nine-year-old, are an outsider at school, have parents who hardly care about you? Right, then you can be found in the forest every free moment to observe your favorite animals through binoculars. Katja is nine and lives in a suburb of Copenhagen. The girl is a master at climbing trees and this comes in handy when she is ambushed during a storm and tries to rescue the falcon that has gotten into trouble due to the strong wind. Katja takes the animal under her wing and looks for shelter. The first dry spot she finds turns out to be a truck, Katja and the falcon, now called Kiik, crawl in and Katja falls asleep. When she wakes up, she finds herself in Italy.

Of course this sounds rather unbelievable – from Denmark to Italy it takes more than 15 hours by car, let alone a truck. Fortunately, this doesn’t detract much from the film, because there is enough going on to make the viewer forget about this imperfection. There is an air of magical realism about the film, and the contrast between Denmark, where Katja seemed happy alone in her forest, and Italy, foreign to her, where she is at first as alone as in her motherland, can hardly be clearer. be outlined. In Italy it is immediately accepted. Upon arrival in Italy, Kiik flies away almost immediately and Katja is now all alone in a foreign country, whose language she does not speak. However, she is flexible enough to adapt to her new situation right away; where other children might immediately look for an adult who can help, Katja goes her own way and has only one goal in mind: to find Kiik.

She soon befriends four Italian brothers, especially the eldest Francesco (Loris Tocci) and the youngest, Carlo (Mirko Casaburo) seem to understand her. The first night the boys smuggle her into the house, after which a very funny scene follows in which the boys cover up food for her. The next night the friendship has grown so much that the mother of the boys is also involved and Katja learns how to eat tagliatelle. When Katja sees Kiik again, it turns out that he has been captured by a market trader and she must raise 200,000 lire to buy him back. The enterprising children do everything they can to get the money together. This makes for some amusing scenes. Additional danger threatens in the form of an Italian bird collector, who would like to add the falcon to his collection. Set up or understand. Speaking of understanding: it is fascinating to see how the children manage to communicate with each other and how Katja can manage herself reasonably well in Italian within a few days. Incidentally, the spoken word is not even of great importance in ‘Valkenhart’, the visual is all the more important. The idyllic pictures of the Italian harbor town, the images of the children, it gives a wonderful summer feeling. Fun movie for the whole family!

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