The base of this film is a charming life story told by an elderly lady from Southport. She speaks about her romance, her marriage, her children, and her life. Her voice has a cheer and warmth to it, and the story is told in the way that you listen politely but then are also glad that you did – one of those. Many short films have tried to capture such stories, or moments from older people (often relatives) but what makes Mend and Make Do hit another level is the way it is delivered. The narration does a lot but it is the animation where the film comes to life.
Set within a modest home, the objects within the house play out the story but they do so in a way that is delicate, imaginative, moving, and really establishes the heart of the film. The film is filled with deft touches which are never crass or showing off the craft, but instead fit the tone of the film. I loved some of the transitions (the tea pot as a train, or the transition to the war and barbed wire fencing), but I also found the smaller touches to be really nice – like the fact that a metal coat hook somehow conveys emotion, or the way the husband returns to the screen as his original silhouette (which is meaningful of the context of the narration at that moment).
A really charming, clever, and moving film – well worth seeing.
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