Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Released internationally in 1984, Where the Sky Begins was the last directorial effort of Marcel Camus, best known for helming Black Orpheus, who died in 1982. Clocking in at 420 minutes overall, Camus broke the film down into 7 one-hour installments. This mammoth French miniseries traces the development of manned flight from 1896 to 1909. The central character is Edward Dabert, without whose financial assistance many of the pioneers of aviation would have never gotten off the ground. Part One, appropriately titled "1896," introduces Dabert, who is mesmerized by the glider experiments of the era. The second 60-minute episode of this series is titled "1897-1903." Among the fabled manned-flight trailblazers introduced herein are the Voisin Brothers and Clement Ader. Episode Three is titled "1903-1904", which should be indication enough that Dabert will cross paths with the Wright Brothers of America. The fourth episode, titled "1905-1907" dramatizes the manned-flight advances of Santos-Dumont. Once more, aviation enthusiast Edward Dabert makes the march of technology possible. The fifth episode is titled "1907". The field of manned aviation has come a long way since 1896, the year in which the first episode was set. Now it is Dabert's son who takes a hand in things when he meets Germany's Count Zeppelin. In part six, titled "1908", financier Edward Dabert once more strikes a blow for advancing technology. It is Dabert who tries to convince the Wright Brothers of the military importance of their lighter-than-air craft. (This particular episode is a bit more ominous than the preceding ones). Part seven, titled "1909", introduces the courageous Gallic pilot Bleriot. It is his mission to achieve what many consider to be utterly impossible: to successfully fly over the 20-mile English channel.
aviation, pilot, flight, airborne