Laymun – Short Film Analysis
Paper – light, white, bright,
Wrinkled, crumpled and creased,
Torn into pieces without a thought,
A kid’s fighter jet airborne, that
In raining season turns into a boat.
Paper – how different are we from it?
Shape-shifters, cerebral fools,
Taking two crude steps
Forward, backward, learning, unlearning.
Our ephemeral paper-life folds
To build a castle with battlements
That burns on its own.
Paper-life – light, white, bright,
Wrinkled, crumpled and creased.
Wars fought for peace have nothing to do with peace as in the very end the avaricious intentions and deceits also win along with the just, powerful ones. All this after crushing many innocent souls.
Yes, life is a cycle of chaos and calm, and we do evolve. We evolve because of the unsung kind-hearted simple folks continue to work no matter what.
Just like the protagonist in the short animation film titled Laymun (directed by Catherine Prowse and Hannah Quinn; original compositions and sound design by Kalle Jurvanen) who continues to revive the spirits of the Syrian public traumatized by the unending war; she gifts the residents in that area with lemon plants, trying to refresh and enliven their war-sick eyes.
The lemon’s yellowness and its leaves spunky greenness transforms the cracked walls into a brave embroidered piece and beautifies the broken windowsill.
Soon the war frenzy returns without any shame, aerial bombing the city, shattering the gardener’s nursery; she manages to escape.
Bowed but not defeated, she boards the bus that will take her maybe to a better place.
Seeing a little girl, who is sitting next to her, crying and clinging to her mother for comfort, the gardener takes out the only lemon that she had, scrapes off its skin and gives it to the little girl.
The sweet fresh smell of the lemon makes the little girl smile.
What a beautiful film this is! The gardener in her gentle manner wins over the war, albeit, she continues to struggle. She thus becomes the unsung kind-hearted hero who contributes in bringing change.
“We didn’t want to oversimplify the issues we were depicting in the film and offer a neat, unrealistic ending, but we wanted to offer a note of hope. We found the idea of a lemon seed being taken with the protagonist at the end offered the perfect balance of a possible new start for this character but also a sense of precariousness: would the one lemon left in her city have a chance to grow into something better, or would it perish?”
Surely nothing could have highlighted the ephemeral human life better than the usage of paper animation/ cutout animation, quietly mocking the idea of wars, the profitable victory of one over the other… as if they are immortals.
The light-spirited-jumpy smell of any citrus fruit, its taste cheers up a sick one, especially one who has motion-sickness, this age-old remedy is known to all, it has travelled via the “oral culture” routes.
And so has the stories of bloody battles, clashes and bloodshed… we have learned from our mistakes, we have!
Let the paper-light-lemon-fresh stories carry the tales freely.
A Must Watch Short Film –
Read Chelsea Lupkin’s review of Laymun here. Complement it with the true story of the last gardener of Aleppo that inspired the makers of Laymun here.
Check out another write-up on a short film titled One, Two, TREE here.
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