25th Animation Division New Face Award
A Bite of Bone
Animated short film
Set along the Setouchi-Shimanami Kaido, the film depicts the custom of “bone chewing” after the cremation, and tells a story of the lives of two children and their parents, the remains of a powder magazine on the island, and their father’s funeral, as if fragments of memories, with a monologue by the children. The child, who was asked by relatives to chew the bones of her father’s remains but could not comply, and the images of death and merciless violence felt from the powder magazine are also the portrayal of the artist herself and her thoughts. To visually express the island’s lively nature and the sea that surrounds it, as well as the dim memories of a child, the artist photographed with a light penetrating paper, which was dotted over with a pen. The artist spent two and a half years depicting the space between life and death.
Reason for Award
Based on a personal experience, the work was painstakingly and carefully created by the filmmaker herself and was highly rated for the passion it conveys and its fantastic and realistic visual expression, as if we were peering into the filmmaker’s memories. The boldly moving figures and camera work, the use of dots and transparencies, scene changes using metamorphosis, and narration by a child all contribute to a delicate and complex narrative that turns a dark and somber theme into a beautiful story. As a debut work, it was a worthy winner of the New Face Award. (OYAMA Kei)