The Sultana’s Dream, a fable that places Spanish animation in a dream place (****) | EUROtoday

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Isabel Herguera turns her debut characteristic movie into a stunning canvas of textures, colours and animated goals that transcends the bounds of the display.

Isabel Herguera, author of 'El sue
Isabel Herguera, creator of ‘El sueo de la Sultana’ on the Tabakalera exhibition in San Sebastin.Jose Ignacio UnanueCar

‘The Sultana’s Dream’ It’s not a film. And it’s not so in a radical and enthusiastic manner, aware and blissful of its strangeness of being a movie with out really being one. But it’s not a movie as a result of it aspires to be one thing else. No, it’s not a film for the easy motive that the very best films are at all times way more. ‘The sultana’s dream‘, of Isabel Herguera (San Sebastin, 1961) It can also be a dazzling and welcoming exhibition based mostly in the Tabakalera constructing in San Sebastin. And, moreover, it’s a manifesto towards the sterile rigors of manifestos. And, in addition and above all, it’s a stunning shifting canvas of extreme readability. And, moreover, it is usually an unfinished piece of hidden and historic artwork that equally calls to the very best goals and awakens to horror. Let’s say ‘The Sultana’s Dream’ It shouldn’t be a movie to the identical extent that the pipe that Magritte painted was not a pipe as a result of the textual content that appeared below it stated so, exactly, the pipe that it was. ‘The sultana’s dream‘is a movie in competitors on the San Sebastian Festival with the form and texture of miracles. And of the contradictions. And way more.

The director herself walks via her exhibition and there, with the preparatory drawings in her arms (you do not have to the touch them until you’re the director), she explains, to everybody’s shock, that she does not like to attract, that what she actually likes is enthuses “is working with inks.” The clarification already offers a clue. On the display, the thought is to not create that sensation of motion that copies and pastes the agitation of actuality as conventional animation does. Quite the opposite, it’s about suggesting the interior displacement of issues corresponding to feelings, proclamations and impacts.

He says that it began when there in the earlier decade, when he had simply completed certainly one of his quick movies, he entered a bookstore in New Delhi and got here throughout the author’s e book. Begum Rokeya,The sultana’s dream. What appeared in her arms was a textual content from 1905 in which the creator from Bangladesh, a self-taught one that needed to be taught to learn and write secretly as a poor girl, imagined a unbelievable world with the soul of absurd satire, an unredeemed universe. the place girls took the function of males. Written 20 years earlier than the well-to-do mental Virginia Woolf wrote ‘A room of 1’s personal’ More than a century after the Rubiales kiss, greater than a e book it wished to be a premonition. Still be. It hasn’t come true but.

And I made a decision to start out working with him, to not make a movie. That would come later. “In 2013,” she says, “we organized several workshops with women in Ahmedabad, in India, where he taught. First it was with four and five year old girls. With Rokeya’s text in front they imagined pregnant men and in absolute freedom they founded a new, amazing and, above all, different world. Later, another workshop at a nun’s school with children aged 12 to 15 brought to light many of the doubts that begin to appear at that age. ‘Why can’t I go home peacefully at night like men?’, they asked themselves. And finally, one more workshop with women experts in the mehndi art who with a henna paste labeled lead flowers from ancient stained glass windows on the same skin, finally gave an image to Rokeya’s vision.

An image of 'The Dream
An image from ‘The Sultana’s Dream’

That’s all in the movie ‘The Sultana’s Dream’. There is also the work with children from the families that take care of the elephants. “Why cannot I drive an elephant like the children do?” is heard at one point in the tape as a literal transcription of what was heard in one of these improvised classes. And you can also see a thousand more experiments where the sound speculations of Gian Marco Serra They bring the soul to the body in constant mutation of the watercolor backgrounds of Angel Price. And all this while the skins of each drawing, each canvas, each transparency are superimposed one on another in an organic and sensual continuum very close to something similar to ecstasy. Or the simple pleasure of the beautiful, which is more pagan and less dramatic. If you will, and without disparaging the director, ‘The Sultan’s Tale‘is a collective work built from Rokeya’s voice that blends with all the voices of her readers who one day crossed paths with Herguera in an art workshop. With them and with the spectators’ own gazes.

The film tells a story as it is told. And it is the process of telling itself that materializes before the viewer’s gaze in a kind of labyrinthine version of a necessarily oriental story by Borges. “Let’s not begin from phrases, however from the picture. The script has been constructed as the pictures had been configured,” says this filmmaker in love with shadows. The girl Inés cannot dream. A postcard found between the pages of Rokeya’s book will make her begin a journey towards the mystery, towards doubt, towards the encounter, towards that hidden and utopian Ladyland (land of women). Meanwhile, the city of women itself imagined by Rokeya comes to life in a fantastic universe made entirely with the henna of Mehdi art. Meanwhile, a thousand stories of elephants, of films and of forbidden loves are intertwined in a fleeing tapestry that wants to be at the same time the dream that Inés cannot and the dream itself of the dream of an impossible and enormous film; a dream of which it is not possible nor perhaps necessary to wake up.

Herguera has spent a lifetime in animation, despite being clear that character animation is not his thing. He comes from Fine Arts and made video art in Germany before in 1987 he began to try animation in which, yes, he stayed to live. He has passed through the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)admires and uses the arts of shadow art pioneer Lotte Reiniger and, as soon as the name comes out, he praises Miyazaki’s precise detail. ‘The Sultana’s Dream’ It is, in its own way, a condensation of both an entire life and a way of being in the world. Isabel Herguera lives with her eyes and hands open to everything and everyone. And her film, her first feature, is a perfect condensation of a revolution that concerns all the senses, all the pleasures and all the caresses.

Herguera stops, takes a cut acetate in his hands and observes, observes the shadows it casts on the white wall of Tabakalera’s room. ‘The Sultana’s Dream’ It is not a film, it is rather, now we see it, the shadow of a dream.