With her spunky nature, the title character of Alain Gsponer’s new version of “Heidi” uncannily represents our time. Though picturesquely set in the 1880s, this new rendition of an old classic celebrates the child, curiosity, learning and following dreams – no matter the gender or class.
Heidi (Anuk Steffen) lives with her grandfather high in the Alps. She romps around barefoot, alternating between a shift and boy’s clothing, chasing after goats in the warm sun. The stinging invigoration of snow-tipped mountains and wispy beauty of lavender and golden flowers are reflected in Heidi as the epitome of the fullness of nature. Torn from this idyllic environment her strength of will and purpose are tested.
Stand up for yourself. Do what you love. Let nature be your friend. Gsponer’s fresh perspective on “Heidi” is light-hearted, sometimes comedic, and strongly based in the power of nature and the individual spirit.
“Heidi” has won 3 awards for Best Children’s Film in Europe. This inspiring, poignant German film, subtitled in English, is currently showing as a part of The Portland International Film Festival on Feb. 20 at 12:45 p.m. in the Whitsell Auditorium.
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