Somewhere in the Alps, 1960's Once upon a time... upon the wind... there was a bird.
This tale belongs to him... and to a boy.
I just played a part. But somehow it is my story too.
I am Danzer, the forester.
I take care of every wild thing that calls these mountains home.
There was a time, when I shared in the life of one bird.
But... I go too fast.
This is jumping to the end.
Let us start at the very beginning.
Brothers of the Wind
He came into this world... a prince, that's how I thought of him.
Because to me, his parents were the king and queen of my valley.
The time would soon arrive for them to pass their kingdom on.
But perhaps not to him, because he was born the second.
One who is older and stronger awaits him.
And so it was, that from the first, they were not only brothers... but rivals for the throne.
The father too had his opponent.
A man... called Keller.
They knew nothing of the world, but peace and plenty.
But, one day brought danger. And a change... forever.
She knows he will not return.
And what of them... fatherless.
How shall they survive?
I'd say, they are beyond even your care, Danzer. No one would spare the other...
Life is cruel.
To us all.
How is Lukas?
The wind is cold.
He's a strange one. He... only speaks with nature.
Where are you going?
Perhaps the boy was like the little eagle before they ever met.
Home held no comfort.
And so, the battle between the brothers begins.
This was once the home of Lukas, but now it is his secret.
A hideaway, from his father.
From the world.
The place he comes to remember.
Where memories burn.
The Sunday special.
When we have finished the fence.
Like your mother used to cook.
The time has come for her to choose: left alone, she can only raise one to be king.
Then... the day of the ravens arrived.
Omens of misfortune.
She hears him cry, but... there is another call of duty.
This day should have been his last.
But it was in fact... the beginning.
Don't be afraid.
You must be cold.
I won't harm you.
Did your brother kick you out, eh?
Don't worry, I'll make you a nest. One of your own.
You must be hungry.
You don't like bread?
It's all I have.
I'll come back soon.
With lots of food.
I started to...
Eagles are famously hard to feed.
That's very bad for him.
Look what I have.
That's good for him.
Your father must be wondering where you are.
Why provoke him, Lukas?
That you don't talk, that angers him enough.
And yet he...
He doesn't recognize his own silence.
I never heard him talk about that day.
He's buried it deep inside.
And so have you.
But one day your voice will come.
Oh, you like to read.
"Brothers of the Wind"
Essential to develop his feathers.
Hey! Where are you going?
Did you forget our capercaillie?
I'm talking to you!
Aren't you hungry? No?
So you need more chores to work up an appetite! Come on!
Food is ready!
Go away! Go!
I did a bad thing. But something good came from it.
This is for you!
You are growing fast!
Perhaps the book fell open to that page by chance, but his fingers found it.
The story of two brothers, locked in battle.
The elder Cain, determined to defeat his brother Abel.
And so the bird found a name.
He would call him Abel.
And this time, Lukas would give the story his own ending.
Abel would survive.
Somewhere out there, Lukas knew that Cain was being fed, taught and trained to be king of these mountains.
Come here. Come on!
You got to learn how to fly.
He's still too young.
He needs his feathers to change.
His instincts will guide him.
I've been talking to your father.
You know, with the summer coming...
I could do with an extra pair of hands.
You could stay with me.
Keep me company in that big old house.
And I have more food than I need.
Plenty for two.
Plenty for all.
Bind this to his leg. You'll be able to catch him!
You did it!
And then... like this!
You can sleep here, if you want.
I thought you could use it to train the eagle.
Lukas, feel free to sleep wherever you want!
I got it.
It's for you, Abel.
It's for you, come on. You can eat it.
You have to pick it.
Abel, you have to be faster.
Or you will never eat them.
To learn takes courage.
And to teach, the patience of a mother.
She knows, to make her son take to the air, temptation must be strong.
I watched her often, always in wonder.
She will not rest until she sees him take that leap.
Lukas may lack instinct.
But, he's a boy.
And with that comes invention.
Jump, come on!
Come on Abel, jump!
Abel, you have to.
You have to jump!
You have to move your wings fast... or you will never learn to fly.
Come on Abel, open your wings!
Yeah, like that.
Come on, you have to fly.
This is good, this is good.
Come on, you can do it. Abel, you can do it.
Come on, jump!
You can do it. Come on!
You did well!
Yeah, good boy.
Yeah, you did it!
You did it!
He told me, all he found was a feather.
And I could see by his eyes, he feared... this would be the last of Abel.
I tried to comfort him... Abel would return.
He just needed a taste of the wild.
But in truth, I didn't know what fate awaited him.
Like a child running wild, Abel might find this adventure costs his life.
In the days that followed, I barely saw Lukas.
He could not rest.
His fears for Abel, never far.
He knew that there would be two dangers.
The greatest was his father's gun, never far from his hand.
The other... was Cain.
Always the stronger.
And now... a hunter.
For Lukas, a lifetime.
And still no sign.
I was waiting for you.
I thought... that you'll never come back.
But... you were flying.
Flying, finally Abel!
Abel learned to fly.
And Lukas learned that hope should never die.
Come on, Abel!
A lesson to remember.
But the boy knew... more teaching lay ahead.
Abel must discover how to hunt.
Hunting is about speed and timing.
So we teach him this way:
The eagle sees the carcass, tied to the end of the rope.
And then we wait... until he starts to descend.
And when he goes to the snatch we... chack!
And like a marmot into a burrow...
Is he working for you or you for him?
He has you building toys? Traps!
My own design.
You're a clever man!
For the summer, Danzer!
That was the deal. Don't think to outsmart me!
So now you show a want for him?
He's my son.
Never forget that!
You were fast.
But he was just faster!
Let's push him harder!
His first real catch.
I thought he was going for the dog.
It's time, Lukas.
Summer is over.
You have to go back to your father.
And you must return Abel to his world.
A word, at last.
Abel has his instinct.
A memory of what it was to be wild.
If you keep him, those urges will fade.
He won't be able to return to the mountain.
He will never be free.
Is that what you want?
We had to take him far, to the mountains where Cain could claim no kingdom.
I told Lukas, here Abel would have a chance, to find his own way.
I envied the boy his faith.
In my heart I made my own farewell.
You will survive.
You will come back.
You will see me again.
I feared that winter would be the end to Abel's story.
The snow that year was so cruel.
Even an eagle's eye could be deceived.
The sky and the snow... became one.
The snow held Lukas home.
Unable to escape to his hiding place, he was trapped.
He must wait for the thaw.
And if he did not know the fate of Abel, he could still help others... live.
His summer with me was just a memory.
But under his coat, I knew he carried the falconers glove I gave him.
In his heart... he carried hope.
That moment to me felt like the end of a chapter.
But the wild is wiser.
This was not a chapter closing... just beginning.
Abel had returned to the valley.
But his challenge was not over.
Here, in the place of his birth, a brother awaits him.
This was the brother who forced him from the nest.
Cain... the older, the stronger.
Time would tell who would be king.
And time was passing.
Winter once again was Spring.
And Lukas healed... his leg at least.
But the hurt between his father and himself showed no signs of mending.
Once upon a time there were two brothers.
The Brothers of the Wind.
The sadness and the silence... it remained.
Although, he was stronger than his brother.
But there are many ways to victory.
Their story, it seemed, was set.
How is the ending?
There is no more.
But... what happened after?
Even if we had the last page, I fear it wouldn't tell us how the brothers fare on.
And do we need the end?
Sometimes in life, Lukas, you have to make up your own endings.
Tell your own story.
It was as if Abel too had heard these words.
The final chapter must come between himself and Cain.
And it must come now.
There are many ways to victory.
Courage can win respect.
Lukas knew what it was to be brave.
But respect was gone.
And the boy felt the instinct to leave.
I witnessed something wonderful.
One prince and his brother... at peace.
I wondered... could I hope for one more miracle?
That the return of Abel would keep Lukas from leaving.
To find his friend.
This was the reason he gave himself for packing his bag.
But I think he was searching for something else.
This is where you come.
When it burned you cried but now you can't even open your mouth, eh?
I remember her voice.
Can you imagine how I cried?
Light me the matches.
Look at me!
I'm so sorry.
A few Years later
Hey! I'm ok.
You see: I'm strong!
You were always stronger than me.
This must stop.
You won't find him.
Somewhere. But how can you know that?
I don't have to know.
I just have to believe.
Abel died in the storm. No!
That was his brother!
Abel survived. Abel is gone you have to accept it.
This dream that he'll return, forget it.
Put it out of your head.
Put out your arm, Lukas!
Stretch your arm!
I found him.
I'd say he found you.
We found each other.
What are you doing? Now he's free!
It once broke his heart to let Abel go.
But now Lukas understands, that to let go... is to be free.
Free from the past.
Free to believe that destinies can change.
The book of life... is ours to write.