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Recommended age 5-15
15 minutes
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What a lovely short film! Romance is alive and well! But is the princess just a figment of the excavator's imagination? Is she just supposed to teach him something important, only to disappear?

This subtitled Italian film begins with a lost little girl, Elisa, bumping into Matteo, an excavator inside a tunnel maze. This set establishes an ambiance of mystery, suspense and lonesomeness. Matteo proceeds to tell Eliza a story about a princess he once knew.

The use of flashbacks is very effective to show the old man, Matteo, as a much younger man. The audio effect of whispering voices in the distance adds to the air of mystery. The music director chooses a great musical score for the princess when she first arises out of the water. It makes her seem very seductive. The necklace that Matteo finds is an effective prop. You wonder if it has magical powers or holds some secret.

The aerial views of the Italian countryside, with horses running through it, are very romantic. So are the architectural ruins that young Matteo and the princess go wandering through.

My favorite part is the upside-down bat perched in one of the caves. This makes Matteo's cave dwelling seem more realistic.

One message of this film is to leave historical artifacts and treasures alone. Preserve their integrity to honor the past. Another message is that there are ways to overcome loneliness.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. It will make a lovely addition to any film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

An elderly man comes to the rescue of a girl who is lost inside an Etruscan tomb. While he is helping her look for her parents he tells her a story. The story sounds like a fairytale but maybe it's not..... a magical land, a Princess who emerges from a lake, her encounter with a young man, and how that encounter changes his life. The Princess explains to him the history and importance of that magic land and makes him realise that it's place to be safeguarded for all and everyone...
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