In 1940 – in an exceptionally cold day – little Jules and his family move to his uncle’s house. He is the mayor of a small Quebec village.
In 1940 – in an exceptionally cold day – little Jules and his family move to his uncle’s house. He is the mayor of a small Quebec village. A severe skin disease forces Jules to be away from school and peers, with whom he played and had fun with. His main goal and wish are to find a cure, so to get back to normal as soon as possible.
Adventure comes in the form of his dog Spark, that brings him out of the box and out the bell jar made by his parents. The dog’s escape into the woods leads Jules to search for him, oblivious to the potential consequences. During this adventure, he encounters Asha, a mysterious Indigenous girl, who helps him in the quest for Spark, confronting various fears and secrets beyond the forest.
Much of the film’s elements are inspired by the life experiences of director Sophie Farkas Bolla, such as being the granddaughter of a Hungarian politician and having spent her childhood playing in the woods. By being familiar with it, she found the right inspiration for her stories. In her director’s notes, Farkas Bolla admits: “When I started making films, my first instinct was to tell stories that brought me back to my childhood. But the adult in me also sought a better understanding of the world I lived in”.
According to the filmmaker, Adventures in the land of asha can be seen as a dialogue between the world she grew up in and the one we all live in. Through this journey, Jules bridges the gap between his childhood innocence and a harsh reality, composed of everything that surrounds him, where only the toughs are allowed. Although he is compelled to accept a world devoid of illusions, he must come to terms with the fact that he now belongs to a new world, one yet to be explored and, possibly, changed.