Set in Mexico, 1913, this stop-motion animation is about cinema itself and depicts what it means to be a real artist. Landowner Don Gonzalo rules his hacienda, or plantation, with the help of a ferocious band of boars. Only the one-eyed boar Jabalito refuses to be domesticated and roams about freely. Don Gonzalo hires a cameraman to document his empire, but the Revolutionary Army attacks the hacienda during the filming to reclaim the land. Amid the chaos of the battle, Jabilito, who stumbles upon the camera, understands the value of this film and “discovers” cinema. Inspired by the Mexican Revolution, one of the first filmed wars in history, this film portrays the resistance of the people against violence and the determination of the protagonist to dedicate himself to art.
The figures in this work are anything but cute. But then, any mystical phenomenon has both an enchanting and a bizarre aspect, provoking in us clashing urges to draw closer and to run away. That is precisely the quality possessed by these puppets. Animation is a perfect match for the chaos engendered by these mystical yet vulgar characters. Here puppet animation is used to metaphorically illustrate the role of film, a symbol of culture, in documenting revolution, a symbol of change. The work merits special praise for making us ponder the origins of animation as a means of creating motion. (YOKOTA Masao)