Wildfire: A Review.

Film Short: Wildfire.
Directed by: Hugues Opter , Pierre Pinon , Nicole Stafford, Valentin Stoll , Arnaud Tribout and Shang Zhang.
Released: 2015.
Running time: 4.04 min.

This bit of slice of life animation from Goeblin’s animation school is about a firefighter named Ena and her growing fascination with the fire she fights gives viewers a fascinating look at the complex relationship of passion.

There are many different types of passion out there. The romantic passion between lovers, the passion for life, the passion of a calling, etc. it’s all a state of sustained want and/or excitement that drives many individuals in many different and unique ways, both good and bad. This short caught my attention because it displays a moment in the complexities of desire, particularly in the moments that shift from one particular desire to another, evolving on the cusp into obsession, that was explored through the protagonist Ena brilliantly.

The narrative is constructed in such a way that we are clearly introduced to two different aspects of the main character: Ena the family woman, and Ena the firefighter.

Her fascination and desire for the wild beauty of the flames as she fights a forest fire was portrayed in beautiful rolls of purple smoke and red gold sparks and flames as she approaches the conflagration with this enthralled look on her face.

The flames act also as a symbol for the excitement of the harsh unpredictability that being a firefighter gives her, and her passion for her calling, while the staid little flames, the constrained and tamed moments of controlled fire in her daily life through her moments of contemplation of her matches, her cigarette, and the flames of her son’s birthday cake reflect her more staid and controlled existence as a family woman.

What makes this dynamic between Ena the mother and wife and Ena the firefighter, is that she does clearly love her family, it’s just the staid and controlled life that they represent which is what we see her drifting away from. The filmmakers here did a good job in not making the two lives completely polar opposing, cut and dried from each other, each part is well balanced and seamlessly transitioned.

Overall this was great animated short that utilized a very mature and sophisticated understanding of desire, had a good utilization of dynamics between Ena’s family life and career, some good poignant moments, and a definite artistic visual appeal.

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