School of Cultural Studies and Humanities

Harrogate Film Festival Reviews 2021 - The boy and the mountain

Maria Stefanian, a MA Media & Culture student at Leeds Beckett University, shares her review of a film showcased as part of the Harrogate Film Festival, of which the university’s Northern Film School is the education partner.

a piles of books with glasses on top

This is a great animation film produced by Gonzalo Pomes and Hernan Leal, who also created the idea of the film directed by Santiago Aguilera and Gabriel Monreal. The unique part of this film is that the voice of the character is actually the author of the story, Hernan Leal, who is still climbing mountains today as a role model for children.

A glimpse into the story 

The film starts with breath-taking scenery over high mountains covered in snow, seen between clouds swirling in the wind. 

A voice is reflecting upon existence and time. It is the voice of the main character who is now grown up, but the images are the memories from his childhood, younger age and then as a man as he is recalling them. 

As a little child, he liked drawing on the notebook during classes, letting his imagination go free. Then we see him in his office working hard together with his workmates. The voice is talking about how dreams can be a part of our existence, shaping our lives, by taking the decisions that we take, from childhood to the years of our youth and adulthood. 

But all this time his dream was to climb high mountains, since a kid but even now, as a grown man, while working in the office. I won’t tell you anything more about the story, it’s too good to miss and I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Overall impression

An important feature of the film is the close, genuine relationship between the father and the son, a kinship we long to see when so many movies depict conflicting relationships in families. 

The best part of this film is the very high definition graphics, the solutions to represent materials, nature and people are exquisite and the attention to detail. The colours are finely tuned and the lines are smooth. The sound quality is also very good, quite remarkable when resembling the wind swirls as well as other effects. 

Although the voice is talking calmly, there is a sense of tension in certain moments, which is felt when watching. The film will keep you engaged and it’s a good one to enjoy with your family and friends so you can share the joy together.

Sunday evening tip

I have an idea for you. As we cannot visit the cinema in person at the minute, why not invite friends and family to watch this short film together while connected in a video call and then debate on the topic. What a nice way to spend a Sunday evening!

Harrogate Film Festival runs up to Sunday 30 May 2021. Find out more.

 

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