Saturday, September 17, 2016
TIFF Talk 2016: Ariel, "Window Horses"
The Film: Window Horses (Canada)
What's it about?
It's an animated story about Rosie (voiced by Sandra Oh) who is half Chinese and half Persian. She lives in BC with her grandparents ever since her mother died and her father abandoned her. She's a poet and gets this anonymous invitation to a poetry contest in Shiraz, Iran. She goes knowing that's where her father lives and she progressively learns more about her past, her father and the history of the Persian Empire. It's a coming of age story that involves a culture that is currently under a great deal of scrutiny and Canadian director/animator Ann Marie Fleming sheds a more just light on it.
Did you like it?
It's a beautiful film. More so than I expected. It's really moving and very compassionate. It's incredibly fluid in its depiction of an artistic culture. The film embraces those notions of self doubt that many artists have about creating their art and reveals many international concepts on the nature of expression and creativity.
The great thing about the film being animated is that it can appeal to children. It's not specifically a kid's film, but I think 10 to 15-year olds will get it and that's important because there's more to life than what we know.
The animation is incredibly simple considering Rosie is essentially a stick figure. I find it very indicative of how bare and raw she is. She's still learning about life and with her being simplistically drawn, you get the impression that she's not fully formed yet. She's still growing. I loved it.
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Ariel Fisher is a film reviewer and co-hosts the new film podcast, A Frame Apart.
Window Horses Trailer