Invisible Essence: The Little Prince Continues to Inspire with Further Screenings

10 Apr

Image result for invisible Essence: The Little Prince netflixBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Existentialism is a big word. But for 76 years, for a readership barely old enough to read, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has conveyed the importance of asking who we are, what connects us to others, and how we should live. I saw this work not too long ago, during the 2019 Victoria Film Festival, and quite enjoyed it (see review here) and it continues to inspire, getting a theatrical screening in Vancouver, BC, on April 19th.

Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince looks beyond what the story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara means. This documentary explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. It weaves the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring the many ways life and art can reflect upon one another in curious ways. And in telling the author’s own story of a child who suffered the loss of a father and beloved brother, and who found “himself” as an aviator for the French air-mail company Aeropostale, flying alone over no man’s lands.

Working imaginatively with the famous line “what is essential is invisible to the eye”, the film introduces a modern-day Little Prince–a cheerful, seven-year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who encounters The Little Prince, via braille and audio-book, for the very first time, and grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read.

“The journey of making this film was really to explore what it is about this book that resonates with so many people, that has transcended gender and culture and religion and language,” said director Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses).

He believes in these times it wouldn’t hurt for us to revisit this book. Remaining stagnant is never wise. This film continues to play in art houses, on Documentary Channel and Netflix worldwide. Tip: watch it on the big screen; you won’t be disappointed.

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