BW BIFF Picks 2013: ‘Little World’

Joel Dyer | Boulder Weekly

At the time Little World was being filmed, Barcelona native Albert Casals was a 20-yearold world traveler. But nothing about the way that Albert views the world or travels through it resembles what most of us think of or do as we go from place to place.

Albert Casals’ version of travel is the equivalent of doing a solo ascent on K2 without oxygen and wearing only your underwear. It’s adventure travel without map or net.

Yet even so, Albert’s extraordinary travels are only one character in this magical film that explores the power of passion, love and family with a sincerity that will leave the viewer challenged to make more of every moment and breath they take.

Albert’s childhood was difficult. His biological mother died when he was 5, and he suffered from childhood leukemia. Even so, Albert’s father recognized his son’s remarkable passion for life at this early age and was determined to raise his son in a world of possibilities, not limitations.

Eventually, Albert’s chemotherapy treatments left his legs unusable and put him into a wheelchair. But the chemo could not take his passion for life.

From the age of 15, Albert began to travel the world alone. He would leave his house with 20 euros and stay gone for weeks and months, hitchhiking in his wheelchair, sneaking onto ships and trains to get to exotic Third-World locations, all along the way living entirely off of the kindness of strangers.

This film explores the love of a father and son as surely as it shares Albert’s unquenchable joy for being alive, regardless of whether his circumstances are difficult, life-threatening or exhilarating.

Little World follows Albert as he leaves home in his wheelchair with his young girlfriend Ana in tow to hitchhike some 20,000 miles from his home in Spain to the point on the planet that is the very farthest away, a lighthouse on the East Cape in New Zealand.

This isn’t Discovery Channel. There’s no camera crew along for the journey and no off-camera support team ready to swoop in when things go wrong, which they sometimes do.

The only constant is the irrepressible spirit of Albert Casals.

Little World screens at Boulder High School at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.

This story is part of our complete coverage of BIFF 2013