Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘The Miracle of The Little Prince’

Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘The Miracle of The Little Prince’

Next to the Bible, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the world. It has versions in over 300 different languages.  That is a lot! Every year more translations are added to the mix. There is something about Antoine de Saint- Exupéry’s book that really touches people.

Marjoleine Boonstra creates a poetic and philosophical film in The Miracle of The Little Prince. She focuses on four individuals and their cultures to explore their deep connection to the book. Lahbib Fouad from Morocco, has translated the book into Tamazight.  We also meet Kerttu Vuolab, who found comfort in The Little Prince after the tragic death of her younger sister. While attending university, she decided to translate the book into Sami. Tashi Kyi and Noyontsang Lamokyab have translated the book into Tibetan. They both live as exiles in Paris, cut off from their family, their culture and language. And in El Salvador, Jorge Lemus and a few local women are working on a translation next year into Nahuat, also called Pipil, an indigenous language spoke by only about 300 people.

The film takes us across the globe as we listen to the translators’ own stories, and their reading from The Little Prince. Each has found solace, friendship, and an understanding of what is essential to each of them. Their translations go beyond their love of the book. Their work is an extension of themselves and a means of survival. Survival of what is essential to many,  their language and culture.

This visual essay of a film is moving, philosophical, and also an excellent primer into understanding why The Little Prince is loved by so many. The values in the story transcend boundaries. The film also takes a deeper look at how this book is helping to save these languages from extinction.

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Heidy has a love of fine art history, films, books, world issues, music and science, leading her to share her adventures on her website (www.hyemusings.ca) , and as a contributor at other outlets. She loves sharing the many happenings in Toronto and hopes people will go out and support the arts in any fashion possible.
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