The Yellowknife International Film Festival closes with two short films. These films couldn’t be more different form each other. The first is Daewit, a dark animated fable of self destruction and redemption. In strong contrast, Trapline is a beautiful documentary of a family connected by their trade in trapping.
An import from Germany, Daewit tells a morality fable of a man’s life. The film begins with the man as a baby living in the a shack with a loving mother and an alcoholic, abusive father. To save her baby from the abuse, the mother puts the baby in a basket and lets it wash into the sea, ala Moses. The baby gets taken in by a she wolf, who raises it as one of her own. And then he ends up in a mental institution. After that, the character takes many unexpected journeys before he is given a choice between revenge and forgiveness. To give you the full experience of the film, I won’t give away what happens to him after that.
The film’s animation takes on an abstract style resembling wootcut artwork. Like the film’s story, the animation combines abstract grittiness with whimsical fantasy. The grittiness portrays the old cabins and urban cities with a claustrophobic lived in feel. And the people are drawn with a world weary looks, right down to the wrinkles. In between, the film dwells into elements of spiritual enlightenment. When the mother prays for her baby washed at sea, the hand of god literally appears to pick the baby up and takes him to the wolves. There is also an appearance by an angel and the grim reaper.