Emily Mody - Manivald (NFB Short)

Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 08:00 AM

Manivald (NFB Short)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Manivald is a short animated film directed and animated by Chintis Lundgren. The story follows Manivald, a fox that is celebrating his thirty-third birthday. He lives with his overbearing mother while he teaches himself how to play the piano. One day their washing machine breaks and they phone a repairman to come and fix it. The repairman turns out to be a sexy wolf by the name of Toomas and he calls Manivald’s entire co-dependent relationship with his mother into question.

This film did a very good job of exploring the complexities of close relationships. The story was well formulated and I enjoyed how the discussion was handled playfully and humorously. The discussion of free sexuality was very interesting, although this particular character was ultimately villianized. Too often, in our society we have a tendency to shy away from the portrayal of sex and accept the portrayal of violence openly in film. I am not sure why this has been the case but would like to see the portrayal of healthy sexual expression more normalized in film and seen as less of a taboo. Manivald’s depiction of sex is a gentle way of doing just that. I really appreciate this aspect of the film.

There are many similarities between Manivald and I Like Girls directed and animated by Diane Obomsawin. It was interesting how both films utilized anthropomorphic animals to convey their message. This naturally lends itself to a more lighthearted and humorous feeling in both shorts. Both films also share a discussion of self-discovery and the experiences in our lives that allow this discovery to happen. Through the personal relationships in our lives we are able to find out who we are as individuals regardless of our differences. This was a very powerful statement in both films. The films also, of course, have their differences. I Like Girls utilizes episodic narration and non-fiction elements to express the desired message. Manivald uses a fictional story to demonstrate a similar story.

I would recommend this short to any adult who enjoys slightly more racy subject matter. It is also important to note that this film contains sexual content; while not necessarily explicit in nature it is expressed in very shallow metaphors and assumed context. Due to this fact, if you are a particularly sensitive viewer or you find this type of discussion offensive you would probably want to steer clear of this one. Overall, I would have to recommend Manivald. I believe this film was a very unique way of examining the process of self-discovery and independence. When you are forced to rely on yourself because your relationships are no longer serving you, something very beautiful happens. You are finally able to realize your goals, your desires, and ultimately who you are. Every negative experience can, in turn, change you for the better and I believe that was the message conveyed through Manivald’s story. Manivald runs a total of thirteen minutes.

You can view this short in its entirety with a CAMPUS subscription at the National Film Board of Canada’s website: https://www.nfb.ca/film/manivald/

Calgary Showtimes: Manivald >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.