Strange Fruit

May 29th, 2014Student Showcase

Who?
Directors – Shimi Asresay and Hili Noy, Original Soundtrack – Itai Argaman, Sound Effects – Ohad Zrihen

What?
The peaceful daily routine of father and son is interrupted by an encounter of an unfamiliar boy, different from them in color.

An allegory to the phenomena of racism as an acquired cultural epidemic, the story discusses the question of the personal conscience of each of us, versus the education we receive from our families and environment. Can we really insist on our personal belief system, when what we must believe in, is dictated to us?

The film presents how easily we acquire fear and hatred of foreigners, as well as how easily we might become the “strangers” and “others” ourselves.

Why?
We approached the film wanting to discuss racism, a subject that is painful to us and is shared in both our personal backgrounds, be it a family murdered in the Holocaust because of their religion, or a present-day discrimination due to skin tone. Alongside our personal stories, we kept witnessing racism in our immediate environment, such as racism between Palestinians and Israelis, gender discrimination, etc. We saw our personal stories as a starting point to raise the universal subject of racism, that we believe exists in us all, even when we prefer not be aware of our own racism. All of us can be at both sides of the equation – we can experience racism and be discriminated against, and at the same time we can be racist and discriminate others. When we could even recognize such thoughts in ourselves, we wanted to make a film that could hopefully put a mirror in front of all of us, and maybe raise questions of discrimination and morality.

001

How?
With those thoughts in mind, we chose to tell our story as an allegory filled with symbolism, placed in a location that could be anywhere in the world and with a color palette that is not associated with a specific nation or skin tone, so that everyone could find themselves in the film. During the historical research phase, we were very inspired by Billie Holiday’s powerful song “Strange Fruit” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs&feature=kp), and we kept going back to the image of “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”. We felt that the title of the famous song fits perfectly to the story we were telling.

The visual style of the movie was inspired by etching prints, an old manual technique we wanted to renew digitally. The color palette is monochromatic with an interference of turquoise. The film was made in classical animation and produced in nine months during 2013. We developed the script and storyboard over a period of five months and the production itself was an intensive non-sleep period of four months.

004

Next Project?
Right now we still do not work on animated film, Probably in the near future.

Which animated film would you like to have made? It is really hard to say, because there are a lot of great films that we really love. If we had to choose, we usually tend toward the more experimental animated shorts. Here are a few of our favorites:

Here is a few of them: