Africa a.F.r.I.c.A – short film
1 Episode (9min 21sec)
2D & 3D animation
Copyright © Dongwoo Animation
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Awarded 'Grand Prix' in open entries at Tokyo International Animation Fair 2004
Supported project by 2002 KOCCA for HDTV
It portrays the grand-scale of nature in Africa and the hope of Africa arising from despair through the eyes of a child. It also shows how hope can disperse the prejudice shown towards the afflicted people of Africa.
Beginning of the story -
The legend of Whale was almost forgotten. A village slowly vanishing because of death - Nyangumia, a small village located in the south of the Sahara Desert, East Africa. The village was threatened by the shadow of death because of continuous drought and famine for 4 years. However, a legend about a guardian deity has been handed down from generation to generation, a tale of a whale protecting the wealth and abundance. A village of Whale called Nyangumia, a nest of people who have lived far from greed, preserving the rich resources as well as raising grains on the fertile soil. But, it is now nothing but a village of disaster, where dwellers don't say anything about that Whale of legend and don’t believe the tradition any more.
A long journey, a boring waiting -
A weak step toward living, which is "a hopeless hope."
Exhausted paces quickening unbalanced steps cutting through volumes of heavy smoke.
Her pace can't be stopped.
Another waiting started again but her empty way home
It was a queue waiting for rations that she arrived at. It is another beginning of a long and boring waiting as much as the journey from home to there. A hard move is resumed hugging a can of corn soup rationed at last tightly to her breast. However, Dindaru makes a grave mistake to drop the valuable can from her chest.
Out of the end of despair -
Does a death encroach all kinds of hopes?
So rapidly soaking up every drop of corn soup, the lake dried-up long ago and the ground tired of expecting exposed their skin and bones over again.
Sharing the last drop and the hope was too premature to abandon. Something shines in the center of the lake's bed. Finding out that moment of shining, Dindaru moves forward. Two large but sad pupils of eyes are watching her from the heart of the dried-up lake's bed. Dindaru lifts the can upside down, and adds the last drop of corn soup left barely to the eyes. As soon as the sad eyes filled with a drop of corn soup glitters, a huge shape is showed with a blinking.
To meet, a new hope
"It's a whale!"
Africa restored to life -
One drop's sharing of the corn soup brings the Whale back to life and he begins to fly to the sky having a deep breath. Dindaru taking off into the air along with the revived Whale is fluttering like swimming. Nyangumia and Africa overlooked from the sky are no more a dark, arid and dying continent. Now, we can see that the ground is full of life as it was rich and fertile in the old times, which was symbolic of Africa. Together with this revival of Africa, a white and clean smile resumed to come out on the face of Dindaru's.
The end of a journey, Returning to the actualities. -
Dindaru and Whale who enjoyed flying over the earth and the sea to the full. Though, the realities of life call a halt to her without exception. Dindaru felt that Whale becomes far off as if it's time to end the journey. Dindaru returned to the actual. However, her tiny hand taking Whale's hand till a little while ago remains warm just as it was. What she found out through the journey with the Whale of legend is...
Dindaru - a six-year old girl, a practical head of family composed of a sick mother, two younger sisters to be cared for and her.
Born of a poor and barren environment, she who has eyes more transparent than water has lived under such surroundings. And, she is now familiar with them. Her look is too collected to find childishness, which might come of being spiritless because of hunger but could make her mother live and even make her look like a grown-up taking care of two younger sisters.
However, a child is nothing but a child. We can, sometimes, see that her activities are possible because she is a child. We cannot but help asking ourselves about an honest attitude of life seeing that her actions are beautiful on account of being simple. She lost her smile. No, there might have been no word of smile at the beginning of her life, so she may not have any memory of that. Dindau, nevertheless, is probably the future of Africa having the lovely five cardinal colors' continent in herself in a village of the black African ground.
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Unique character design based on traditional pattern from Africa handcraft Arts