When life becomes nothing more than memories.
Jacinta (2008) is a stop-motion animated film short by Karla Castaneda. The film is the winner of the 2009 Mexican Ariel Award for “Best Animated Short.” The 9-minute short film features an elderly woman knitting away in her rocking chair as the world passes by her window. When Jacinta has finished her last ball of yarn she searches the old suitcase for more. The suitcase is filled with old knitted scarves symbolizing how much time has passed her by, and just how much memories can also pile up.
With no more yarn to finish her incredibly long scarf, she ventures out of her quiet room. She peers into the hallway of the other residents in the home who are just as she is, waiting for someone, anyone to visit them. She then returns to her room and knitting, coping with the subtle sadness and isolation of old age and begin again to knit herself an ending.
The film, though poignant, it is crudely animated. The aged characters do add to the films unique charm and unsettling realism. The overall challenge about the film is in its methodical pacing. The character movement is exaggerated in the film opening, and throughout the film, the lonely animated peoples are lost for the time. This is the challenge in watching the short–you sort of lag in time.
Perhaps as to provide an opportunity for self reflection or passively warn us not to waste our own precious time.
Karla Castaneda is the director, writer, and animator of several independent short films such as Jacinta, El Altar del Perdon, and her most recent animated short La Noria, about how time stops for a father that has lost his child.
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