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UK: Swipe Productions
Cast: James McAvoy, Catherine McCormack, Julian Glover, Sir Derek Jacobi, Ian Hart, Claire Skinner, David Harewood, Samantha Bond, Michael Culkin, Alexandra Knapp, Oliver Golding, Nigel Hoyle, Andrew Kiernan, Alex Jennings, Malena Kristian, Hugo Myers, Catherine Kanter, Johnty Stephens, Debbie Chazen, Piers Stubbs, Ruby Williams
Director: Anders Ronouw-Kearlund
Countries: Denmark / Sweden / Norway / UK
UK: 88 mins
UK Certificate: PG contains mild fantasy violence and menace
UK Release Date: 27 May 2005
A dark tale of love and revenge, STRINGS tells the story of young Prince Hal (James McAvoy) who sets off to avenge the apparent murder of his father, the Emperor of Hebalon. The lines between enemy and ally rapidly blur as it becomes clear that not all is as first perceived.
The Emperor of Hebalon dies a dramatic death, taking a terrible legacy with him to the grave. It is widely feared that the Zeriths, the Hebalonians' arch-enemies, have fanned new heat into the embers of the murderous enmity that has existed between the two nations from time immemorial. Martial Law is declared, and the heavy gates in the city of Hebalon are locked firm. No outsider can gain entrance.
The Emperor's young and untried son, Hal Tara, who is now the heir apparent to the throne, is charged with avenging his father's death. Disguised as a common slave, he leaves the protective confines of the palace armed with his father's sword and sets forth to seek out the implacable Zeriths. A warrior is about to come of age.
But Hal is unaware that his kingdom is threatened from within, where traitorous and malevolent elements are planning to overthrow him; nor is he aware that he has abandoned his court and his beloved sister to a cruel and perilous fate behind the city's iron-clad gates.
Hal's companion is his friend and squire, the warrior Erito. In the marshes outside the city Hal is confronted for the first time by the terrible legacy of his kingdom's history. In this no-man's land, men who have dedicated their lives to the service of the Emperor eke out a blighted existence, crippled and reduced to misery after many years' of benighted and exhausting warfare.
As the young Hal's fear grows, so does his hatred of the Zeriths. Stuck in a web of hatred, revenge and lust for power Erito and Hal's friendship is severely tested. Back home in the palace, Hal's sister and Erito's wife uncover the traitors' stratagems and realise that their beloved husbands are riding into a trap. But the traitors hold the city in a grip of iron and the two women are powerless to act. Their hands are tied.
Hal manages to gain access to the Zerith camp, but he is no longer so sure who is friend and who is foe. As Hal gradually comes of age as a warrior, he falls deeply and passionately in love - a love which proves to be as blind and unreasoning as hatred itself. It will take a moment of revelation before he is finally able to distinguish between his true friends and his true enemies.
Peace and justice in the kingdom must still be re-established. A major new war is brewing, but the battle-lines are unclear as are the lines between friends and enemies.
STRINGS is a dramatic tale of adventure, bondage and liberation; of love and war, destiny and vitality, identity and common humanity. Not everything is as it seems in this land of adventure, where the threads of destiny are woven together by unseen hands, and where there appears to be a hidden connection between Earth and Heaven.
STRINGS takes place in a unique universe, a universe where all characters marionettes and where the strings are an integral part of their lives and identity. This is the world's first fully integrated puppet feature film.