Based on the novel by Anne Holm, "I am David" is the story of a boy of 12 who escapes a Communist prison camp, in post-war Europe, and begins an impossible journey to find his mother in Denmark. In his journey through Italy, however he finds much that he is not searching for. Terrified for his life, and possessing nothing other than a canvas bag with his identification papers, and a mysterious letter he must carry to Denmark, David (Ben Tibbet) cowering from the sights and sounds of ordinary life, and using only the label on a tomato can as a map, begins the impossibly long walk northward.
He suffers from constant incomprehensible flashbacks about his imprisonment, and his only friend, Johannes(Jim Caviezel) who was afraid to attempt escape from the camp."They'll kill us", Johann says to David as he speaks of escape one night. "How do you know they're not going to kill us anyway?" David replied.
His spirit will serve him well, through all the hardships of the road, where he is helped by the intercession of St. Elizabeth, whose holy card he was given by a kindly baker. He shrinks from kindness, however, as the recurring memory of pain haunts him and robs him of his ability to smile. Only his warm memory of his mother's face gives him peace on his journey, until, unexpectedly, he experiences an epiphany that there were those even in the darkness of the prison camp who loved him, and that some people in this world may be trusted.
This emotionally powerful movie had me completely riveted, and the Christian imagery was critical in understanding the climax of the film. Performances by "The Passion of the Christ" stars, (Pontius Pilate, and St. Peter) add to the intensity of the sense of redemption.
You will appreciate your home and family in a new way after seeing, "I am David".
Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men, comments on this film here.