French filmmaker, Bastien Dubois short animated film “Madagascar, a Journey Diary (Carnet de Voyage)” is nominated for an Oscar at this Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony.  The film 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.

If you’re in the New York City area, the IFC Center will be playing all of the nominated shorts through March 3rd. Click here for show times.–Allison Swank

Further Reading

The death of cities

Cities will continue to exist and grow despite the coronavirus crisis because of the distinctly human need for social interaction, physical contact, and collaboration.

Drugs and police in Mathare

Drug use among young people in Nairobi’s slums is on the rise. Youth also face arbitrary arrests by the police, resulting in jail time which turns them into hardcore criminals in a vicious cycle.