It’s the oldest legendary creature in the world. Its origin goes back to the first age of our history and, doubtlessly, roots deep down into our prehistory. But what sets it apart is not only the immemorial universal myth, it’s the fact that the myth survived at all. The unicorn has not disappeared from our world, far from it. The creature surfs in some 1.9 millions websites, gallops through enough books to fill a library, stars in thousands of artworks, paintings, sculptures and films – not to mention the toys and knick-knacks produced industrially for children – all stressing that the unicorn is still dwelling comfortably in our modern lives. What is its secret? Where does it come from and why hasn’t it fallen into oblivion like the Basilisk, the Hydra, the Manticore and all the mythological likes?
Its power of fascination might lie in the fact that the creature always knew how to remain distant, wild and elusive, as the thousand year old descriptions of its “existence” states. According to the very first written testimonies that reached us the myth emerged in India, a magical land where everything is possible and from where it spread around the world. Even though its existence was testified by people we should call scientists — from Ctesias to Aristotle — and therefore granted anatomical and physiological features as any other living species; the success of the unicorn “species” never bothered with the usual laws of reproduction. There’s no account known of a female unicorn. Its reproduction has more to do with Immaculate Conception and its single horn quickly became, in the Christian world, the metaphoric representation of a single God.
The Quest for the Unicorn, much like an archaeological dig, leaves us with few clues and even more questions than before the quest. In actual fact it seems that all traces of the amazing creature has been erased, buried or burned throughout the ages. This film is a jigsaw puzzle that weaves together fragments of knowledge, myth and legends, gathered like clues by historians, artists and poets from the far corners of the world. The film tells the powerful story of one of the most enduring universal myths in human civilization, and by doing, reveals just how ‘belief’ really works.