I also cried for someone else’s grandmother

My own focus research shows that most adults think animated films are only for children. – Fortunately, mine have already grown. Oh, I have no problems with it, my daughter is grown – I heard from my random respondents. And when I suggested that the animation could upset adults or make them cry, they tactfully changed the topic of the conversation. I didn’t even have time to warn them that we were heading towards extinction, because the elephant would also die

The 17th edition of the Lublin Film Festival is ending. I’m waiting for nothing more than for the verdict of the audience, which also awards its own Golden Anteater. From the eight festival screening days, I chose two blocks of short animations (competition and non-competition). And I watched as viewers leaving the screening voted for selected titles.

I wonder if the awards will go to the most tearful ones? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? There is an animated world of animated characters on the screen, and here, real life adults are sobbing and borrowing tissues from each other. It’s the magic of cinema!

The ranking of short, animated tearjerkers is led by “Her Own Truth” directed by Agnieszka Kruczek (picture from the film on the photo). A 10-minute film telling the story of a mother and daughter who are planning a stay in Germany. While saying goodbye, the girl’s grandmother states that they will never see each other again. Explaining that the separation will last 3 months does not help, because the breakup is depressing and the trip is not enjoyable. The film begins in the fall of 1981. Poles do not need to be explained that plans have changed, because on December 13th 1981 everything changed. And it’s easy to guess that grandma’s prediction came true. A female voice that calmly tells this story, the animated world created by the author of the film, more suitable for a bedtime than for a dramatic, personal relationship, enhance the atmosphere of “Her Own Truth”. Little things like photographs carried in wallets on both sides of the impassable border, the almost lazy pace of the narrative and the intimate world of the grandmother and granddaughter, seduce the viewer who believes in the longing, helplessness and regret of the cartoon characters. And when it is completely unglued, at the end he receives a photo from the family album signed “grandmother”.

The hearts of many viewers were stolen by “The Bridge”, directed by Izumi Yoshida, fighting for jury recognition. Using puppet animation, it tells a true story from the beginning of the 20th century, and its heroes are Polish children orphaned in Siberia. A group of them ends up in Japan, saved by the Red Cross. The clash of cultures, loneliness, the need for friendship and warmth are the problems discussed in the 20-minute film. The main characters are: a Polish boy who lost his mother in exile and a Japanese girl. Their breakup had a melodramatic effect, and archival photos ensured that it was not Hollywood emotions that the director enchanted in the puppet world.

If someone asked to calm down how far the madness of short animation creators can go, after watching only two sets prepared by Emilia Rusin, one must say – it’s hard to say. Even if it was 20 videos in total!

In the “crazy” category, my private Golden Anteater would go to Hungary or Estonia.

The choice between “Amok” (directed by Balázs Turai), in which the audience was treated to a crazy ride with a predominance of hallucinations, and “Sierra” (directed by Sander Joon), where the protagonists’ son turns into a tire, is downright impossible.

Therefore, I will also honor the apocalyptic vision of the world that appears in the 8-minute film with the simple title “Pig”. It turns out that 8 minutes is enough to create a philosophical parable while telling a story about animals. The titular pig turns out to be an electricity producer, after all, its snout looks like a socket. When the splitter is not enough for the juicer, hair dryer and radio to work at the same time, a transmission network is built around the pink animal, the town, shops and tram lines grow. In the cafe, people warm themselves with a heater under umbrellas, at the next table a penguin turns on the air conditioner, etc. It is easy to predict the fate of the electricity-generating pig. Forced to be reanimated, she does not survive, plunging the film world into chaos and destruction. When the dust settles, one of the characters, who barely survived the disaster, looks like a picture of misery and despair, finds something that… resembles a nest. An elephant is bigger than a pig, right?

If there is no tomorrow, will Jorn Leeuwerink, the director of “Pig” say: I told you so?


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