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Latvia: This is probably one of the most unusual animated films I have seen. It reminded me a lot of the wonderful Red Turtle that came out a few years ago in that there is no dialog at all. The film, told in 5 chapters, starts out with a boy, probably a teenager, who is dangling from a parachute in a tree. When he regains consciousness, he is confronted by a large, menacing figure who pursues him throughout the film. The boy discovers a map that will take him to the other side of the island where civilization is, and the film is about his motorcycle journey eastward. I loved the movie. The animation is rather simplistic, but there are some parts of the film that are incredibly beautiful and breathtaking; one such scene is when he is riding across Mirror Lake. There is tension as he navigates his way across the island, but also periods of peace and beauty. The soundtrack is amazing and helps enhance the various emotional states the film engenders. The film may not be to everyone’s tastes, and I think that there will be a variety of interpretations based on the experience of the watcher. As a psychologist interested in Jung and archetypes, I brought to the film a particular vantage point that resulted in a film that was very satisfying and told an amazing story. I also read later that the director, Gints Zilbalodis, completed this entire film as a one-man project. Quite impressive! Big thumbs up from me! (2019; 4.5 Stars)

 

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