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This is one of my narrative stories for TV series "The World Picture Gallery with Aunt Owl" (MASKI Production Co.). This educational animated series was represented in Cannes, in TV Market MIPCOM in October, 2007.


by Alexander Kalinkin
Genre: Educational, Fairy Tales, Art
Run Time: 10 minutes

THE AUNT OWL: Hello, children! In our International Art Gallery there is a showroom, where we can fly above an awakening forest, a fog-covered river and a dewed meadow. Here is very beautiful! This is a showroom of the talented German artist Caspar Friedrich. Today we'll make an acquaintance with his pictures and, of course, with the master himself.

Caspar Friedrich was born in the year of 1774 in a German town Greyfswalde on the shore of the Baltic Sea.

Caspar Friedrich - Self-portrait

The town was a working sea harbor! Majestic sailing ships stopped by there after their long voyages. Numerous fishing boats were rocking on waves. Since his childhood Caspar liked drawing the sea, ships and wide meadows, which surrounded his hometown.

Caspar Friedrich - Ships in the Greyfswalde harbor

It seemed that nature itself spoke to him, and the artist's paintbrush carefully conveyed its fairy tales to people… Here is one of them! Listen, children...

Caspar Friedrich - Morning

It happened on Sunday. Maybe it was even in Greyfswalde itself. Two children were playing on shore – a boy and a girl, Carl and Bertha. Their dad and mom were resting nearby. Dad presented a small flag to the children but, alas, there was only one and the children couldn't decide who would be the one running with it along the beach.

Caspar Friedrich - Steps of life, a fragment

An old man in a captain uniform came out on shore. He stared into the sea distance, at leaving ships and he kept silence for a while. The father greeted him and soon they were talking. The old captain told that he had been waiting for a ship that was unlikely to arrive, but there is always a hope so he was waiting. "What ship are you talking about? Tell me! Maybe I'll see it!" – suddenly asked Carl, who was attentively listening to the adults' talk. The captain said that there is a secret land in the North. People called it Hyperborea. There is the Light City in that land. Many brave captains had been looking for it. It is not easy to reach there – only those, who strongly believe in their dream, are able to reach Hyperborea.

Caspar Friedrich - Steps of life

But it is more difficult to come back because the land is so very beautiful. The old captain sighed. "I've been waiting for a ship from there. I had a good friend – the captain Friedrich. Friedrich dreamed of seeing the secret land. Three times he set out to seek it, and he didn't come back from his last travel. Children, especially Carl, were very interested in that story.

Caspar Friedrich - Steps of life, a fragment

Some years passed by. Children grew up. Carl became a captain. He often remembered a story about the secret land Hyperborea. One day he himself managed to equip a ship to search for it. Bertha persuaded her brother to dismiss the dangerous travel but the dream kept calling the brave youth. Finally a day came and the Carl's ship left the home harbor.

Caspar Friedrich - View of Harbor

The anxious waiting began for Bertha. Her room windows faced the sea. She looked at incoming vessels for hours, listened to voices of sailors and waited… months passed after months but there was no news from her brother.

Caspar Friedrich - A woman by the window

Meanwhile Carl's ship navigated far to the North. Dangerous icebergs, floating ice mountains, were to be seen in the sea. A cold mist obscured the horizon.

Caspar Friedrich - The Sea of Ice, a fragment

Drifting ice floes surrounded the ship. One night they squeezed its boards so hard that the deck cracked. The travelers had to leave their vessel urgently and escaped in lifeboats.

Caspar Friedrich - A Wreck in the Sea of Ice

A piercingly cold wind blew. Carl and his companions struggled forward across ice-blocks carrying the lifeboats.

Caspar Friedrich - The Sea of Ice

However one morning the ice ended and the travelers could sail again! Soon they saw a long- awaited land!

Caspar Friedrich - Steps of life, a fragment

They went on shore. It was pleasant to feel again the firm ground under foot after sailing for so long! They couldn't believe their eyes -

Caspar Friedrich - A landscape on the shore of the Baltic Sea

- the saving land was vast, it extended to the very horizon! They walked all the day.

Caspar Friedrich - Riesengebirge

Towards evening the sky suddenly illuminated with a rainbow! It brilliantly shone on the dark background of the lowering clouds! In its light, on a mountainside, the travelers noticed an old man dressed in bright clothes. He happened to be the captain Friedrich about whom Carl had heard in his childhood. Friedrich was happy to see Carl and his companions as if they were old friends! Carl asked why he stayed there. Friedrich looked around and said that this is Hyperborea, that secret land itself about which he had dreamed so much. Friedrich invited the valiant sailors to the Light City.

Caspar Friedrich - A mountscape with a moon rainbow

They walked over the immense land astonished by its beauty and its tender colors.

Caspar Friedrich - Neubranderburg

On the way the captain Friedrich showed them different amazing places. Hyperborea was rich in sights because since ancient time travelers and dreamers from around the world sought after it.

Caspar Friedrich - A temple in Agrigent

Many sailors had stayed here forever. Castles and temples decayed and broke down with time but those heroes lived and would live on. Maybe the reason was in the wonderful Hyperborean air; maybe it was just because they were the special people who could realize their most secret dream!

Caspar Friedrich - Eldena Ruins

Although the hospitable country was good to the newcomers, Carl missed for his homeland and his sister. He decided to navigate back. The captain Friedrich didn't try to dissuade him. He helped Carl to equip a new ship asking only that he say hello to his old friend, the captain. In early misty morning the new ship left the harbor of the Light City.

Caspar Friedrich - Myst

You may ask me what about Bertha? Carl had been traveling for long time, and his sister was close to despair. Nevertheless, everyday Bertha went out on the seashore and waited.

Caspar Friedrich - Woman on the Beach of Rugen

But Carl is alive! We, children, know that! I'll try myself to support the poor girl. One morning an owl flew to Bertha. The girl was amazed at seeing such a marvelous bird sitting on her windowsill in the daylight! A premonition of something unusual crept into her heart. The owl unclenched its talons and a small flag rolled down on the floor. The flag was that same one, which she hadn't shared with Carl in her childhood! Bertha raised it and glanced at the window but the owl was gone. Now she understood everything and ran to the harbor!

Caspar Friedrich - An Owl

At this very time a stately handsome ship was approaching the town. On its desk Bertha recognized her brother!

By Caspar Friedrich

They met each other! There was so much joy! Carl invited Bertha to his new ship and then told her about the travel, about the Light City and about the captain Friedrich, who didn't want to leave his dream.

Caspar Friedrich - On the deck of a ship

What about you, children? Do you have a dream? Oh, what am I asking? Indeed, you have, and I strongly believe that you, like the characters of our story, will certainly achieve your dreams, your own Secret Land! The great painter Caspar Friedrich also achieved it, because his pictures, his landscapes inspired me to tell this story. Our travel is over for today. I'm saying good-bye to you, till the next meeting in the International Art Gallery!

(C) 2008 Maski Production Company
The script is published here with permission of the copyright owner - the MASKI Production Co. and the producer Sergey Zarev.

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