Directed by Tony Palmer, “The Children” features an all-star cast that includes Kim Novak, Ben Kingsley and Geraldine Chaplin. British broadcaster Channel Four originally commissioned the work, which premiered with success at the London Film Festival, aired on Channel Four and then, after disputes with the distributor over editing and music (among other things), was pulled from release and never distributed.
Now, 26 years later, Palmer has finally gotten the rights back to his film and is prepared to recut and release the film as he originally planned. The original footage has been digitally remastered from 35mm, and Palmer has plans to release it on DVD after a screening in London. Palmer has started a Kickstarter campaign via Firefly Entertainment with hopes of raising the necessary money to re-edit, re-score and distribute the film.
“The Children” is an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s 1928 novel of the same name. The drama centers around the disillusioned, middle-aged engineer Martin Boyne (Ben Kingsley) who initially plans to sail to Switzerland to marry a longtime and now widowed friend, Rose Sellars (Kim Novak). When Boyne travels to Switzerland by way of Venice, he runs into a group of children of an old friend (Geraldine Chaplin). The story takes an interesting and unexpected turn when, after eventually meeting Sellars in Switzerland, Boyne becomes the children’s guardian. He begins to fall for one of these children, 15-year-old Judith (Siri Neal), to the dismay of Sellars. This beautifully shot, intensely emotional period romance was Kim Novak’s last film.
Palmer hopes to raise nearly $47,000 by August 5 for the project, planning to do justice to the film as he initially envisioned it.