Reviewed by: Dale Mason
When 13-year-old Amy Alden’s mother is killed in an auto accident, Amy (Anna Paquin) must move to Canada to live with her father, an artist/inventor, on his rural farm. Re-establishing their near-forgotten relationship is hard, due to their dissimilar lifestyles and Amy’s less than cooperative spirit.
It is Amy’s eventual discovery of a nest of orphaned goose eggs that begins bringing this concerned father and his hurting daughter toward a sense of oneness. When the eggs hatch, the geese “imprint” on Amy (they perceive her as their own “mother” goose, following her everywhere). This inspires dad to work feverishly to prove his love, in a rather unconventional way. He devises a plan that will allow the flock of 15 to avoid being confiscated by a zealous wildlife officer, if they can be trained to migrate. Father teaches daughter to fly an ultralight aircraft and follows her and her now mature geese on the 500 mile adventure to a North Carolina marsh. (Includes some beautiful aerial photography during some of these scenes.)
This story is based to some degree on a true event. It is interesting and contains enough twists and tension to hold the attention of most viewers. However, its blatant subplot of politically correct environmentalism overshadows an otherwise nice story. (The environment is esteemed more highly than any human idea or use, a concept rooted in the evolutionary worldview where mankind is nothing really special; just another animal sharing the Earth with our distant cousins).
A note to parents; includes about 10 profanities and expletives / Amy drinking alcohol with adults (quick scene) / partial nudity (father runs outside in his underwear, Amy takes a shower [no genitalia shown]) / New Age-type reference to Amy’s dead mother being “everywhere” in everything / father involved in an ongoing off screen fornication relationship (audience is aware that he sleeps with a woman from time to time) / deception used to accomplish a “good” deed (situation ethics) / and a lack of any biblical standard in the father’s childrearing (permissiveness seems to be the key to a sweet relationship).
Yes, I know, many worse films have been released. The reason why I rated this as “Very Offensive” has mostly to do with the anti-biblical worldview taught throughout the movie, coupled with the targeted audience of children. One alternative suggestion to this film would be “Night Crossing”, a 1981 release/true story about two East German families who make and fly their own hot air balloon to freedom in West Germany.
Year of Release—1996