French filmmaker, Bastien Dubois‘ short animated film, “Madagascar, a Journey Diary (Carnet de Voyage).” has been nominated for an Oscar at this Sunday’s 2011 Academy Award ceremony. The film (watch an excerpt here) is about Dubois’ experience witnessing a Famadihana, or “the turning of the dead people” ceremony in Madagascar. Amazingly, the film explores this event without necessarily exoticizing it: a tough feat for a travel log. The soundtrack is recorded by local musicians and Dubois uses mixed mediums (everything from embroidery to scrap metal) to relate to his audience in a visceral way.
The film’s animation is carefully crafted, but doesn’t imitate the realism of live action. Rather, the drawings reflect what images might look like in the human memory of an event. Special emphasis is placed on precise details such as a child’s curious stare as Dubois enters the village for the first time, and the way music moves people at the ceremony. “A Journey Diary” is an interesting watch, and at just 11 minutes long, it won’t eat up too much of your day.