Journey to Spirit Island

Director: Laszlo Pal
Screenwriters: Crane Webster

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


This refreshing children’s adventure film, exemplary in tone and treatment, is a modern-day spiritual fable about the Northwest Indians. The story revolves around struggle between developers and traditionalists aver sacred Indian burial grounds on Spirit Island. Maria, a young Indian girl, together with her younger brother and to city-slick friends, are stranded on the island after going out on a kayaking trip. There, they witness the misdeeds of the developers, become trapped and, aided by the supernatural, finally call upon all their wits to successfully escape.

Journey to Spirit Island, magnificently photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond, manages to avoid all the silly cliches of the children’s adventure film. It is neither condescending nor simplistic. Even more remarkably, the film has a fine-tuned mystical quality, which emanates naturally from the characters and their world. Its deep resonance makes it an especially satisfying and enjoyable film. Children under fourteen will be admitted to Journey to Spirit Island for three dollars.

Screening Details

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