Features

Stop-Motion Animation Provokes Thoughts on Loss in This Heartening Short Film

Good Grief Short Film

Fiona Dalwood

Why Watch? This short documentary from Fiona Dalwood features five conversations about losing something vital (from limbs to loved ones) and infuses them with lighthearted stop-motion animation, rounding out and complicating stories that otherwise might be wholly somber.

In truth, what’s shared is not only the initial wound of the loss, but also the lessons learned from it as it healed. Those tones blend together for a rich view on one aspect of human life — managing to avoid one-noted piety, sunshine or despair.

The stop-motion, rendered with simplicity and skill, adds a buffer between us and the pain. There’s a potential to mute the impact, but it also achieves something similar to the short In Dreams, where the human face is taken away, allowing a universality to creep in. This is no longer his story, these are no longer their stories. We can somehow see ourselves more easily reflected in the details when it’s a talking spider sharing the woe.

Good Grief also uses its claymation as a Trojan horse. An adorable entryway that leads to some difficult questions.

What Will It Cost? About 7 minutes.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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