Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Humanity and Nature in Animation: 'Seed' by Asparuh Petrov and 'Hungu' by Nicolas Brault

'Seed'  and 'Hungu'  both for me show humanity's struggle and responsibility when forging ahead with development and living alongside nature with or without the destructive impact humans have been making since the Industrial Revolution.

The need for comfort, speed and convenience in development and our thoughtlessness when it comes to our actions, however small they seem, is put up against simple and natural evolution. Petrov prompts you to re-evaluate with this short animation 'Seed'. The man with the seed has consequentional visions and rethinks throwing it down to plant thus risking more of the same and ongoing damage being done to Earth; he walks on battling against the wind with the seed of doubt back in his pocket.

In contrast, with Braults 'Hungu' we see the another  story of humanity and nature, the increasing draught in  developing countries that humans battle against without the speed, the convenience and the comfort, yet retain harmony with nature and its order.

It shows the timeless story of the cycle of life as a child is dragged from his starving mother as they walk a barren African landscape in search of food and water. Sensitively animated as the mother dies and disappears into the sand leaving just one bone and her skull, her son, now grown but weak comes back to her. He makes music with her remains by making a hungu ( an African instrument, a descendant of the Brazilian Berimbau and passed on in ancient traditions) thus gathering back his own strength to carry on by resurrecting his mother's soul through music.

Both short films are simple and haunting and although very different in style seem to have connections in my mind for the ongoing story of humanity and how we live against or alongside nature. I think these two animations together serve as a reminder we need to look beyond our own backyards and think globally and spiritually for a future; embracing nature and accepting the natural order.

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