Today marks the end of the Annecy Film Festival, and I have two feature film reviews to share with you. On the whole, I wish they had given more access to the features screened to the virtual audiences. I am not sure if it was because many are unfinished and not ready for a wider platform release or if they just didn’t want such exposure, but the virtual festival felt more like a con rather than a film festival. Hopefully, someday I will get to attend the in-person festival, but at least I got to see three new indie animated films (see My Sunny Maad which I reviewed yesterday).
First up, we have a film called Lamya’s Poem. It is a 2D animated film about a young Syrian girl who is forced to flee her war-torn country. Fortunately, she is given a magic book of poetry by the 13th-century poet Rumi. This leads her to a magical city where she meets a young Rumi who helps her to survive the refugee camps.
Lamya’s Poem has some nice passages of animation, but it’s strength is in its story which is new and surprising. It feels like they focused more of their budget on the fantasy sequences because the other parts seem quite pedestrian. However, you connect enough with Lamya as a person and hope for her success that it works. It will likely be compared to a lot of other movies including 2017’s The Breadwinner, but I enjoyed it on its own.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
There are some movies that are just plain old cute. The new film out of the Czech Republic, Even Mice Belong in Heaven, is one of those films. The animation is charming, and the characters are adorable. I think with the right marketing it could be a nice little indie hit.
The story is also pretty bonkers. It’s about a mouse who takes a piece off of the tail of a fox. This obviously makes the fox upset, and they get into a fight. Eventually, there is an accident, and both the mouse and the fox end up dying and having to work together to get into heaven.
Like I said, the visuals are the best part of this film. The detailed stop-motion world building and adorable character designs draw you in, and the story is good enough to keep you invested. This probably would have been better as a short, but I still enjoyed it. Stop-motion animation at its finest!
What do you think of these films? Are you going to seek them out once they are released? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
Edited by: Kelly Conley