SUMMARY: A young boy’s real and fantasy life are depicted in split screen. He mostly fantasises scenarios of peril while in dull everyday situations. But the two worlds start to merge when real peril appears on the horizon.
WHY IT’S HERE: Paul Driessen’s ‘The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg’ is a terrific and deceptively sweet film that suddenly becomes tragic at the end. As with his previous ‘The End of the World in Four Seasons’, Driessen again works in split screen, requiring the audience to pay careful attention to two separate scenarios. In the left hand panel, we see the real life of a young boy as he goes about his mundane daily routine, while on the right hand side we see him fantasising himself into adventure stories, as the victim of various dangerous situations. He is persistently roused from these fantasies by the interruptions of adults and has to begin again with new ones. ‘The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg’ handles its scenario brilliantly and for the most part is a sweet and funny film. However, its final section pushes it into the realms of greatness as we realise that the boy is a passenger on the Titanic. Although he sees the danger coming, his warnings are disregarded by adults and, of course, the ship crashes into the iceberg. The film’s closing scenes which depict the boy’s final moments of consciousness are remarkable and resoundingly sad.