Charles Officer’s Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, the acclaimed documentary that looks at the legacy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved book The Little Prince, begins it's Canadian theatrical run here in Toronto, tomorrow at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Officer will be in attendance for a Q+A following the opening night screening at 6pm (ish). Check the Hot Docs Cinema site for ticket information.
Invisible Essence then moves on to Edmonton (March 17th), Vancouver (April 5th), Guelph (April 19th and two dates in Ottawa and Calgary (TBC).
We just got the brand new poster to share with you, so you know what to keep an eye out for when you go to your local cinema for a show. Down the right side we can see braille, which you can read below is part of Officer's story. We have included the trailer below as well.
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.
It is a puzzling story, devoid of a conventional happy ending. And yet, as we see in Charles Officer’s acclaimed documentary Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, this story of a stranded aviator who encounters an elegant alien child in the Sahara, has become the most read book after the Bible – selling an average of two million copies a year in 300 languages.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince explores the global legacy of The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. Weaving the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions from key sections of the book, exploring ways life and art can reflect 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.
Invisible Essence: The Little Prince tackles its subject from different angles, with footage from various film versions (live-action and stop-action animated), academic insights from scholars and archivists who’ve devoted their lives to Saint-Exupéry and his message, and – most poignantly – as it applies today, such as Mark Osborne (director of the animated film “The Little Prince”), Adam Gopnik (Staff Writer at The New Yorker), Rupi Kaur (Poet, New York Times Bestselling Author), Stacy Schiff (Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer of St-Exupéry), and Olivier and François d'Agay (the great nephew and nephew of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry). Although a fable, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s transcendent story suggests an ethical philosophy about life in its own way, a code of respect for humanity.
“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,” says director Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses, Nurse.Fighter.Boy).
“I believe in these times it wouldn’t hurt for us to revisit this book. It is about our connections and our relationships that matter the most.”