Every Tuesday, Chris Robinson digests and dissects (relatively) new indie animation short films. This week, he examines Russian animator Anna Budanova’s 2013 short, ‘The Wound.’
A scratchy phonograph plays. A clock ticks. An old woman appears. Sombre vibe. Beautifully hand drawn. Yep, it must be a Russian animation. And that’s not always a bad thing, especially in the case of Anna Budanova’s 2013 short, The Wound.
We are all marked by invisible scars and wounds. They vary in size and intensity over time, but we all have them. It’s often the result of a negative or shocking incident, a moment from childhood. Maybe it’s a cruel comment or the sneers and hushed judgements of classmates (which must be intensified in the age of social media and minimal privacy). Perhaps it’s a nauseating dinner (as a child the smell and taste of Asparagus abhorred me to the degree that even now as an almost-50-year-old man I am accompanied by a giant menacing piece of Asparagus anytime I frequent the produce section of a grocery store).
The challenge is not to - as the protagonist in The Wound does – allow those wounds to take over your life. If you don’t find the tools to push those beasts aside, they will grow and grow to the point where they devour and cripple you. That’s a hard task, believe me. There are days when you’re tired or just feel blah…and then you hear those whispers…. always negative…always critical…. “you’re a failure” “you’re useless” “why try”, “they all detest you.” If you let them, those whispers grow in volume till suddenly they’re yelling at you. To shut them down, you stay in bed or pour a drink and another. You do whatever it takes to shut those menacing fuckers up.
But, you know… those voices… they are not the voices of the friends, family, neighbours, or co-workers, they’re just your own manufactured voices. You’re the ventriloquist, they’re the dummies. These voices, they come from the past and the future. All you have to do to shut them up is to squat yourself down in the here and now, cause that’s all that matters, that’s all that’s real.