There has been some time here at Feel The Reel since we've last had a short film dealing with an old folktale. We really love it when directors are taking this challenge and try to make the best out of an old story, reinventing the world through narration, and transposing it into our generation’s views. ‘Amaterasu’ is an old Japanese folktale about Amaterasu, the sun goddess, and the difficult relationship she has with her brother, Susanowo. Christine Papalexis took this challenge of transforming an old story into a short film, but at some point, she maybe thought it was too easy to make it with actors, so she went forward and presented this amazing story through a puppet show.
Truth be told, experimental shorts based entirely on puppets are not very common, another reason why we definitely loved this one for being innovative and extremely expressive. The characters were made entirely out of unusual (for such a play) pieces of household objects – keys, knives, key chains, metal cups, wires, etc. From the very first scene you will know this short is going to be spectacular – the sun is rising and the whole set is coming back to life; you can clearly see how the rivers and the trees are taking their power from the sun while the whole backdrop blooms.
As the story goes by we get to see the two sides that are in antithesis: the solar Amaterasu, and the one hidden on the bottom of the ocean, Susanowo, her brother. They are different, they follow different rules, but they are related. The story has some common grounds with other folk stories found all over the world, where the two siblings are responsible for one part of this world, when at one point, one of them becomes jealous on the other and tries to take the full power. But, as most of the folk stories out there taught us, the good will prevail in the end, and all of the struggle is just another bump in the road of our lives.
Christine Papalexis' short experimental has the magic we all look for when we feel that the outside world is too scary and when we need something to boost our confidence.
Written by Vlad A. G