24th Animation Division Excellence Award
Violet Evergarden: the Movie
Animated feature film
Ghostwriter Violet EVERGARDEN spent her early years fighting in the war. With scant opportunity to develop a mind or heart of her own, she never understood her superior officer Major Gilbert BOUGAINVILLEA’s parting words, “I love you.” The world stumbles forward in the aftermath of a war that inflicted more than physical wounds, but Violet’s days are consumed with the belief that somewhere, the missing Gilbert still draws breath. It’s then that she gets a telephone call from a boy named Ulysse, and Gilbert’s friend and president of the postal company finds an unaddressed letter in a warehouse. A work that attempts to deepen the story serialized on TV, the film is delicately acted and illustrated, with city- and landscapes that create a clearly defined worldview.
How do we convey feelings we don’t have the words for? The question is especially poignant in the age of digital media. The film is a sequel to the TV series, which might have put viewers new to the franchise at a disadvantage, but compensated by the film’s dual timeline: the present, where Daisy examines the past, and the past, where Violet resides. In the past, we see the protagonist through camera work indicative of this detached point of view. By making heavy use of long or slightly high-angle shots and third-person perspectives from behind on-screen characters, the film puts the audience at a subtle distance. The unspeakable feeling of love for someone transcends time and space and lives on in Daisy in the present narrative space, which I find truly excellent. (SUGAWA Akiko)