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Igor (Itai Shcherback) and his father Peter (Tomasz Sobczak), an ornithologist, witness the birth of a crane, who Igor names Karl. Peter intends on studying the birds, who migrate from Russia to Africa. Igor would like to go along, but he lives with his mother Tanya (Ola Schur Selektar) since his parents are divorced. When Tanya announces that they’re moving to Israel, Igor wants to live with Peter, but his commitment to track the cranes to Africa prevents that. Peter promises to visit Igor in Israel when the cranes rest there during migration. When Igor reaches Israel, he stops speaking to his father, who is tracking Karl and posting it online. Slowly, Igor makes friends with Vered (Clil Arbel) who shows him Peter’s website, only to find out that Karl is missing. Hoping that Karl is safe and headed to Israel, Igor, with the help of Vered and some new friends, decide to make a place for Karl to rest in Israel.

Igor & the Cranes’ Journey is the first feature film from director Evgeny Ruman, and it’s an emotional experience. The story of Igor manages to capture just about every major challenge a child could deal with. His parents are divorced and he must try and understand why he can’t stay with his father. He moves to a new city, leaving his friends behind, and he eventually deals with his first love.

Ruman presents each moment with a realism that instantly connects the audience to the characters. Igor’s transformation  feels very natural and Itai Shcherback’s performance is just right, as he goes from a child who complains about things to a young man who deals with things. The relationship between Igor and Vered is also a highlight of the film, adding to that natural feeling that fills the entire film.

Is Igor & the Cranes’ Journey Essential TIFF Kids Viewing?

This is a great film for adults, but it may not appeal to young kids very much. It’s a bit slow paced, and some of the bigger themes may be lost on those younger than ten. With multiple screening times, there should be room for Igor & the Cranes’ Journey though, especially for the animal lovers out there.

Igor & the Cranes’ Journey Screening Times

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Igor & the Cranes’ Journey Trailer

Igor & the Cranes’ Journey Production Gallery