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I Am David | 2004 | PG | - 2.5.1

Set in the early 1950s, it relates how a 12-year-old boy (Ben Tibber) travels alone across Europe after escaping a Communist labor camp in Bulgaria, where he had spent most of his young life. His only possessions are a loaf of bread and a compass. James Caviezel co-stars as a fellow camp inmate who helps and advises him. Also with Joan Plowright, Maria Bonnevie and Silvia De Santis. Directed by Paul Feig. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A girl touches a boy's hand under a table. A man pulls out three pornographic magazines in front of a boy (we see a brief glimpse of the covers, and not much is discernable). A boy bathes in a natural pool of water (we see his bare shoulders, a flesh silhouette beneath the water, and no detail). A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A boy hears a girl screaming, sees a cabin burning, he charges in, the girl is tied to a chair, the boy frees her, both cough from smoke, and they both get out safely. Police and protestors clash in a street, and a boy is dragged away (when a police officer thinks he threw a stone at him) and locked in a truck; the boy escapes and runs away. A woman talks about her young son having died of pneumonia. A boy remembers someone being shot in a labor camp where he was (we hear the shot, see the boy flinch and this scene is replayed several times in the boy's memory). A boy is frightened when a man approaches him and he backs into a corner, cowering. A boy remembers being whipped while in a labor camp. A boy escapes from a labor camp: we see him sneaking out of his bunk and out of the barracks, and dodging search lights and guards; he climbs over an electrified fence (the charge is turned off briefly), gets snagged on barbed wire, pulls free, falls to the ground below, runs scaring birds that flutter out of the brush, a guard looks out toward the noise, and the boy hides. A boy is lowered over the side of a ship into the sea where he is left to float to shore. A boy digs under a fence to cross into another country, he is spotted by guards who chase him and then fire flares into the sky. A boy is frightened when he is asked for his papers at a border crossing, and he has none. A boy stows away in a truck, and jumps out when guards stop and search the truck. A boy climbs across a mooring rope attached to a ship and stows away in the cargo hold (rats scatter around him); he is discovered by a sailor who threatens to turn him in. A boy tackles and punches another boy (we see the boy with a bloody nose) and tries to take something from him. Guards come to question a boy, the boy runs through woods, rolls down a hill, and slams into a tree. A dog barks at and chases a boy who climbs a rock wall to get away. A boy has repeated nightmares about people being beaten in a labor camp (we see the boy with a bloodied mouth). We see many flashbacks of a boy being separated from his father and mother (we see her struggling and screaming) and taken into a labor camp (it is initially unclear what has happened to his parents). A woman is dismissive and insulting to a boy who makes a delivery to her house. We hear that people were sent to labor and concentration camps for disagreeing with their authoritarian governments. A boy is sad and frightened throughout the movie, fearing being caught by police and returned to a labor camp. A boy is frightened by wind blowing in dark woods.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Communism, labor camps, guilt, trust, separation from family, sadness, grief, death of a child, freedom, fear, stealing, death of a friend, bravery, lying, survival, World War II.

MESSAGE - Communism was a brutal political system. There is a lot of good in the world. Being cautious is fine, but you must allow yourself to trust people.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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