Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This children's tale of a boy's wishes coming true is set in the 18th century at a boarding school for youngsters of noble birth -- but as it turns out, not so noble behavior. Little Alyosha (Vitali Sidiezki) has been orphaned, and consoles his poetic nature with fantasies that one day knights in shining armor will come to save him from the inequities at school so he no longer has to endure or witness any tribulations and mistreatment. His savior appears in the unlikely guise of a black hen that Alyosha saves from death -- and subsequently, the hen reveals that she is a minister and ruler of a magical kingdom. Suddenly Alyosha finds himself arriving in the kingdom and accepting a special charm that will allow him to remember anything ever written in any and all of his school textbooks -- as long as he does not lose the charm or brag about the source of his mental powers. Sure enough, he loses the charm one day and is so remorseful that the king gives him back the magical powers of memory. This time, however, Alyosha has the confidence to politely refuse the king's kind gift -- and to rely on his own abilities, telling the simple truth about the reason for his former spectacular memory to his class and his teacher. Their reaction is just what one would expect, given the nature of the tale.
abuse, atrocity, fantasy, magic, orphan, reality, wish