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Anna-Ester Volozh’s Johanne is a piece of animation that should be part of the history classes around the globe as it combines a historical background with the genuine class of a post-modern world, where women warriors fight against the threats of our world.  

Even though this wasn’t the purpose of the short, we could see many of Maxine Hong Kingston’s themes from the book Woman Warrior in this short. As in Kingston’s novel, the woman is presented as growing from the basic state to a powerful entity that is able to control at some extent the world that surrounds her.

The score of this beautiful short animation is the famous song that is also part of the 1965’s Sound of Music, My favorite things. In this context, the song makes perfect sense and it is indeed a great choice. When Johanne is going to fight the interstellar evil forces, the only song we could have imagined the action should be going on was this one. The rebirth of the main character in the last scene is the right thing that gives this short power and a very good potential for a second part.

The animation is amazing! We were thrilled to watch it and with this occasion we congratulate the crew that made this possible. As far as we are concerned, this may be among the best animations we’ve had in our festival ever since its inception. The story, even if it is only three minutes long, is amazingly done and relates a story in an explosive way, compressing a big pile of information in such a short period of time and being a once in a lifetime experience.

If there will be a highlight reel in our festival, then this movie should top the animation part. Extremely versatile and utterly expressive, Anna-Ester Volozh’s 'Johanne' is a must watch short for every animation lover out there.

Written by Vlad A. G

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