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Fox Lorber presents
The Fairy Faith (2000)

"Fairly lore has been with us for thousands of years... but the notion that they might still be with us, had not occured to me for a long time."
- John Walker

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: September 26, 2001

Stars: John Walker
Director: John Walker

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some partial nudity in drawings)
Run Time: 01h:16m:37s
Release Date: August 14, 2001
UPC: 790658996700
Genre: special interest

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ C+A-B- D+

DVD Review

While most people think they know where they stand in the world, others think that mankind is not quite as in control as it seems. Some believe that fairies do indeed exist, and are secretly responsible for the very flow of nature itself. Of course, this sounds a bit kooky at first, but once you've spent some time with those who truly believe in the presence of various pixies, elves, and other 'little people', you begin to understand that you're treading on sacred ground. John Walker's documentary, The Fairy Faith, examines this phenomenon and people certain that invisible beings of some sort have their own secret society among us.

In this documentary, Walker suggests that children might possess something that adults often lose over time: an empathic relationship with worlds of 'fantasy' that allows them to see things their elders can't. In his quest to re-discover the fairy legends he learned in his youth, Walker visits an elementary school class and poses the question, "Do fairies exist?" The unanimous answer, boys and girls alike, is "Yes." They're sure of it, without question. So, is it simply childlike innocence, or something deeper? As the film progresses, Walker interviews all sorts of people in many different places who all believe in this unseen world. One individual claims the ability to actually see and communicate with fairies, going so far as to say that Walker is actually capturing one on his camera—it just can't be seen.

Amongst the interviewees is artist Brian Froud, illustrator and author of many fairy books, though better known for his work on the Jim Henson films, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. He, too, is a believer, and offers the advice that if one wants to see and feel fairies, you have to open your heart to a certain degree. While, all of the folks documented here are fascinating, spiritual people, there is a certain element missing: a skeptic. While there is some doubt presented, for the most part, The Fairy Faith basically accepts the notion that fairies are real. This made the film a bit hard to take for me; it takes itself a bit too seriously. You can't just walk up to people and say "Fairies exist, period." and expect instant acceptance—we need some discussion and debate on the subject. I don't expect them to prove the existence of these creatures, but certainly some investigative attitudes wouldn't hurt.

John Walker is a very good filmmaker and Fairy Faith is an interesting documentary, but it's deadly serious tone almost makes it feel like a mockumentary. I would more likely be convinced that fairies exist via passionate speech, rather than have it automatically accepted that they do. There are indeed mysterious things in the world that many do not understand or choose to ignore; maybe these people have really latched onto some ancient knowledge lost in the shuffle we call progress. Regardless of the truth, it seems a very interesting spiritual realm.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: An impressive anamorphic transfer brings out a good amount of detail and depth in the image. Shot throughout Europe, the opportunities for fantastic photography are put to good use. In a few scenes there seemed to be some minor pixelization in the background, but it was rather fleeting and had little effect on the rest of the film. Vivid colors make outdoor scenery sumptuous to look at, and the source print has nary a nick or scratch on it.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: A pleasing stereo mix is used for the audio, and it does it's job well. Most of the film is dialogue, but whenever the elaborate, Celtic music kicks in, it delvers a nice, CD-like atmosphere. There are no surround effects or specific directional effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 13 cues
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. DVD-ROM Weblinks
Extras Review: A filmography for director John Walker and some weblinks are presented, but nothing more. The presentation is fairly barebones with no insert, but the cover artwork is rather attractive with paintings by Brian Froud.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

This flawed documentary offers a look into the world of those that have a belief system some may find radically different from most of the civilized world. While Fairy Faith has strong points, I'd have to direct people interested in the question of fairy existence to the excellent drama, FairyTale: A True Story, the real-life story of two British children that claimed to have actually photographed fairies.


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