Albert Casals is a young man who has been in a wheelchair since suffering leukemia at the tender age of five. But this hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his dream: to travel around the world. And to do it his way. Without money, without companions, without luggage... He sets off from home armed with nothing but his imagination and his courage.
Little World takes us along on his greatest challenge yet: to reach the exact opposite side of the planet. Is it possible to cross the earth in these conditions? Mixing home video techniques and traditional documentary methods, we will get to know this young man, his love story, his philosophy of life and his parents' approach to raising him. We will see how Albert and his girlfriend, Anna, go from Barcelona to a remote lighthouse in New Zealand… or how they fail in the attempt. The journey (and the film) can be considered sheer madness, an endearing romance or an epic adventure. Or perhaps a little of everything.
Little world, hitchhiking the world in a wheelchair
If you superficially look at Albert Casals’ story, the resulting portrait could be a sad one. Motherless at an early age, diagnosed with leukemia at five and paraplegic as a result of the treatment, there would be little doubt that his history is one inclined toward tragedy.
But Albert, far from being a victim, is a radiant blue-haired young Catalan with a beautiful girlfriend, a loving family and an extraordinary positive spirit reflected in his constant smile.
Albert is happy to almost inconceivable extremes. He doesn’t antagonize his wheelchair nor place it on a pedestal. He does wear, however, a kickass Alex de La Iglesia’s “Acción Mutante” t-shirt, a film whose premise centers on a terrorist group of disabled people who take arms against their “beautiful” and superficial oppressors.
Albert has decided to fully live his freedom through a hitchhiking journey to the other side of the planet, with zero budget and only relying on the good samaritans of the road.
Albert, though, won’t travel alone. His girlfriend Anna will stand by his side, documenting the journey through more than 20 countries.
Even with the eventual narrative indie cliché style full of ukulele sounds and hand-written animations, Little World is, without any doubt, an original and inspiring document.
This is not just a deserved praise to a great real life character. It’s a story about being independent, the coming of age, the attitude towards adversity and the relativity of the limitations.