© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany

Lapislazuli - Im Auge des Bären
Austria/Germany/Luxembourg 2006

Opening 5 Oct 2006

Directed by: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writing credits: Volker Krappen
Principal actors: Julia Kombach, Clarence John Ryan, Gregor Bloéb, Vadim Glowna, Hans Werner Meyer

This story evolved from the 150-year celebration of the fossil find of a Neanderthal boy found in Düsseldorf in 1856. Wolfgang Murnberger digs further into the possible life that this boy may have lived by bring him to the present time. A meteorite hits the Alps at a tremendous speed causing a melt down in the glacier. This awakes Bataa (played by an Australian Aborigine Clarence John Ryan) who searches for the secret cave of his tribe. At the same time Sophie (Julia Kromback) is forced to take a summer holiday with her father and the new additions to her family. Since her mother’s death she is unwilling to accept this new situation of a patchwork family. In the middle of the night, under great risk, she heads down the mountains to get to her grandmother and surprisingly meets Bataa. The story develops into a rescue search for Sophie, but the question is who really needs to be rescued, perhaps Bataa? The film is beautifully filmed showing the mystical side of the Neanderthal daily life. In real life Ryan and Kromback do not have a common language which must have made it interesting to act out these parts where communicating with one another in German and the language of the Neanderthals is a challenge. Mountain rescues, patchwork families and the journey to the other side are just a few of the lessons that this film can teach children as they try to cope in ever complicated world. Recommended for children eight and up. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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