The animated short film „A jókedvű örmény temetése„/ „A Merry Funeral” (2013), directed by former Animafilm artist Zoltán Szilágyi Varga, has just been made available in full on Vimeo, and it’s well worth spending half an hour on.
Considering its title, it’s probably not a spoiler to reveal that someone dies in the film; indeed, the story is not about plot twists, drama or shocking reveals at all. Instead, it’s a slow-paced, textured slice of life focusing on the last days of a man who lived life to the full in its first half, and then on the rituals of a family and community saying goodbye to one of its members.
Death is the end of a life, but it’s also part of life; the film portrays with great care all the ways in which human life can’t help moving forward even in a moment of grief. At a funeral, there are tears but there are also many things to be done, food to be cooked, there are children playing, lovers smiling to each other, kittens lapping up milk, old friends reminiscing about the past. Sorrow and joy are inseparable in the human experience.
The look of the film, with its pencil strokes and warm, muted colours, matches the material perfectly, and the animation is top-notch. In the end, the overall mood of the piece is soothing, one of calm and acceptance.