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Natalie Hamel Roy,
Famadihana is an ancient Malagasy custom that means "the turning of the dead". A symbol of the importance of the worship of ancestors, and a chance to move the remains of ancestors from their first tomb to their final resting place, it is an occasion for festivities, dance and the sacrifice of zebus. The movie is filmed like the travel journey of a Western traveler in search of these customs. The pages turn, the drawings come to life, and the luxuriant landscapes of Madagascar appear one after another. The celebrations may commence. Written by
The idea for this movie is simple but the result is profound. A French video game programmer took a trip to Madagascar and then decided to share his trip with the world through an animated short. The sounds of Madagascar and its music are beautifully selected, and the visuals are breath-taking as well, but what pushes this movie into the realm of greatness is the fact that every scene is presented as if we're flipping through a scrap-book. The narrator/filmmaker wisely leaves out a lot of dialogue and narration and instead opts for showing us his drawings of what he found inspiring during his trip. The perspectives of each shot are always unexpected and are quick to shift, so that we are never for a second bored. As far as content goes, the filmmaker focuses on subjects that are full of heart, vibrant. We see vendors selling their wares, children playing, house- wives on their errands, dogs picking through trash, windsurfers and much more, all shown to the rhythm of a brisk stroll. And as if all of these treats weren't enough, our narrator/protagonist goes through an eerie but enlightening transformation. It's certainly a satisfying trip!
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