Det stora äventyret
Sweden, Swedish, 1953, 94 min
The tales of foxes who steal chickens have a prologue, but it always goes untold. The Great Adventure tells this part of the story, finally: the fox steals chickens because she can no longer hunt in the forest. A lynx who wants to eat her has come to the forest. The lynx has been expelled from its usual forest because of, ta-da, deforestation. This is how the border conflict between the forest and the farm begins; they get the same sun and the same rain but not in the same way. Near the trees, the show is that of pure hunger and contact. Arne Sucksdorff patiently waited for the animals in his film, for years, to trap them in a fiction: the fox, a tragic character; the otter, a comical character, often with the corresponding musical prelude. When he films them up close, they are as captivating and inaccessible as any Hollywood star. Far from the trees, on the farm, the show is that of civilisation: work, property and arms. There is, however, a point of contact and it is the children, the border dwellers, Anders and Kjell. They save the otter from a hunter’s trap and set about… domesticating it. This will be their little secret, the door to a parallel existence, where ‘they play cowboys and Indians and the adults are the white people’. Of course. They, the otter Utti, the forest ‘who won’t tell on them’, Chris Marker’s whale, and the warao people are the Indians. Anders, the older child, will also discover the rigours of domestication. A willing and engrossed servant by day, by night he has nightmares about Utti’s still pure hunger, endless and at all hours. The otter must leave so that the child can remain a child.