Many aspects of this first feature-length documentary by Perihan Incegöz and Jonathan Tremblay are intriguing. The little Sukwan, in the first place, of course. Mastering English perfectly at the age of 8 (the co-directors had initially hired her as an interpreter, before she became the focal point of the film), benefiting from an education focused on self-teaching and resourcefulness at heart of the bush, the little girl shows a liveliness of mind combined with a rich imagination. But also, throughout the film, a disarming lucidity. Then, his parents, Pitt and Tao, having chosen a simple and free lifestyle, hoping to cultivate their only and long-desired child in conditions very different from current schooling. Their past, their talent (Tao is a painter), their aspirations for Sukwan are also revealed.
Among the latter, the imaginary island of Snowyaland. The young Thai can draw up all the details, from its fantastic inhabitants to their rules of life, passing by its fabulous buildings. And why not bring out of the ground this place sprung from childish dreams? The little family, drawing on their modest resources, but with infinite enthusiasm, tries this somewhat crazy tour de force, betting on its educational side. Models, then the first elements are formed, such as the “Scorpion House”. Will the adventure go all the way? Because the years pass, certain realities grow, and the young girl quietly becomes a young woman.
The immersion of the documentarians in the intimacy of this astonishing family is an undeniable success, the protagonists demonstrating a lot of naturalness and spontaneity in front of the camera and the microphone, fully assuming their goals and educational methods. They even provide a few narrative segments where they deliver their views from the heart. Also, at the time of “everything, right away”, we salute the patience of the production, since several years have passed between the first segment of the film project and the evolution of Sukwan; first immortalized at age 8, then in her adolescence.
This very original perspective puts into perspective our educational approaches, the preservation of our imaginative power, as well as, more broadly, our daily values and convictions. In the end, what matters most? Every Sukwan in us will have their answer.