Folk tales are never a bad idea in cinematography. Even though they were previously shown, every new approach unveils other perspectives and depths of a simple story that is filled with strong emotions expressed in a very simple way by the ones that managed to pass them from generation to generation. Eastern Europe has its fair share of weird and beautiful folktales dating back to the ancient times of the great Roman Empire, folktales that gather in their meaning a whole universe that is always fun to discover.
In ‘Dochia and Trajan’ we found a profound story of love and hate, of ultimate solutions to problems that may have changed the course of the history as we know it. Dochia, the youngest sister of the Dacian king Decebalus was said to be so beautiful that Trajan, the Roman emperor, felt madly in love with her and wanted to take her to Rome with him, making her his wife. She didn’t bare this idea and backed up from the proposal, making Trajan very angry with this.
The main character here, Dochia, is a one of a kind piece in today’s animations. Her powerful state of mind is a combination of the little girl, often called Murasaki, from ‘The Tale of Genji’, the first novel ever published (dating back to the year 1008), and the narrator, Maxine, from Maxine Hong Kingston’s ‘The Woman Warrior’. Dochia has the beauty of Murasaki, the little girl that made Genji fell in love with her and eventually ended up kidnapping her, so much as Trajan wanted to do with Dochia, and the bravery of Maxine from Kingston’s novel, a woman that stand her ground in front of the oppressive power. Amalia Vornicu did an amazing job blending these two powerful spirits in her main character, presenting it from a perspective that is more than a story, but a cultural statement.
Another thing that impressed us was the score. It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen animations with deep meaningful soundtrack, but in ‘Dochia and Trajan’s case the score enhanced the dramatic effect of scene, making it a fantastic experience to any viewer that has an open mind. We strongly recommend this animation for anyone willing to exchange its bedtime story to a emotional filled experience that will change the course of its dreams for a while, because this is what this short mainly does: it gets into your head and refuses to leave!
Written by Vlad A. G