Thursday, May 14, 2009

La piste du télégraphe (1994) a French movie about Lillian

Written and directed by Liliane de Kermadec, this film is known in English as "The Telegraph Route."
NOTE: The character is called Lisa Alling.
"This French film chronicles the amazing-but-true story of Lisa Alling who in 1928 successfully walked from New York City to Siberia via the Bering Straight by following telegraph poles. It was shot entirely in the Ukraine. Lisa, a chambermaid, has had enough of American life and wants go home to Siberia. Because she had no money, she decided it was better to walk than stay in the U.S. any longer. An opportunist, she takes whatever food, warmth and even romance that is offered along the way." ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

"Les Acacias Cineaudience release (in France) of a France 2 Cinema, Cinebravo production, with participation of Canal Plus, Sofiarp, UFCA and CNC. (International sales: Cinexport, Paris.) Produced, directed, written by Liliane de Kermadec. Co-executive producers, Patrick Dumont, Ismail Soliman Taghi-Zadeh. Lisa Alling ... Elena Safonova, John ... Christopher Chaplin, Shan ... Cong Shan, Carlo ... Miki Manojlovic, Muriel ... Mylene Demongeot
(English, French and Russian dialogue)
The photogenic Ukraine stands in for the whole of the U.S. and the frozen Yukon, circa 1928, in "The Telegraph Route," a leisurely road movie based on the true story of Lisa Alling, a Russian-born chambermaid who walked from New York City to Siberia. Attractively shot, agreeably goofy pic should make a pleasant addition to fest and tube slates that favor quirky tales of stubborn determination.
Elena Safonova ("Dark Eyes,""The Accompanist") gives a charming performance as the single-minded, penniless trekker with a terminal case of homesickness. After tending to one too many drunken revelers welcoming Charles Lindbergh back to Gotham, Alling sets out, on foot, for her distant birthplace.
Once off the beaten track, privation and deadly cold don't seem to phase Alling as she heads for the Bering Strait by following telegraph poles. She grabs warmth, food and a bit of romance -- including a brief idyll with a dashing young journalist (played by Charlie Chaplin's youngest son, Christopher) -- whenever they present themselves. Alling never explains her mission but ends up winning the viewer's respect.
Scripter/helmer Liliane de Kermadec, making her first theatrical feature since "Aloise" played Cannes in 1975, took her inspiration from a brief magazine article about Alling.
Once one grows accustomed to allegedly American but somewhat Slavic-looking characters named "Mike" and "Billy" speaking French, pic weaves a spell in which period costumes, cars and trains add up to a vintage vision of a sprawling land populated by kindly individuals, in which anything was possible."
I have not seen this film, but if anyone has a copy, please let me know:
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