The Great Adventure

Det stora äventyret

Arne Sücksdorff, Sweden, 1953


The Great Adventure tells the story of a friendship between a child and an otter, intersected with little fictional stories – a fox jumping in the snow looking for a mouse (“missed, missed…”), the encounter between the otter and the fox… The strength of the film is to welcome within fiction the alterity of animals who don’t know they are acting and whose behaviour is unpredictable. We are fascinated by these shots where the otter and the kids play together, chasing each other, sliding in the snow, with an unhidden pleasure. In other times, Arne Sucksdorff temporarily abandons the kids actors and the story to film, for the spectator’s pure pleasure, the chasing game between animals. These strong images don’t come from animals casting or training, but rather from a documentary approach, very long hours waiting and careful filming preparation. Suckdorff, trained as a photographer, immersed himself in this universe he wanted to film: he spent two whole years in this place, in a hut, in order to progressively familiarize animals to his presence, and filmed a lot on his own, or with reduced staffing.