Falafel Cart short animated film review

★★★★★

Directed by: Abdullah Al-Wazzan

Written by: Abdullah Al-Wazzan

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Film Poster for Falafel Cart

How much beauty and drama can be experienced in less than fifteen minutes?


This animated short was accepted for the 2020 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and won best international short film at the Los Angeles Animation Festival and it is easy to see why: it is a remarkable achievement!


Inspired by continuing conflicts in the Middle East, this wonderful piece of work tells the story of a man, who works as a falafel vendor and lives by himself in the countryside. One stormy night he finds a mysterious, magical flower that magically makes him relive his tragic past.


Apart from writer and director, Al-Wazzan was also the animator and he did a fantastic job combining a variety of animation techniques including stop-motion, claymation, hand-drawn animation and computer generated animation. The result is truly outstanding, making every scene of the film an absolute pleasure to watch and admire!


The film has no spoken words, leaving the viewer to comprehend the narrative through the images and characters' actions. The characters' faces aren't seen and it is primarily through their body language that the audience understands what they are feeling.


In addition to the magnificent visuals, the score is unforgettable. Composer Dan Phillipson created music that is poignant, dramatic and mesmerizing and it would be hard to think of a better way to accompany the images. Sound designer Andrew Vernon has also done a terrific job with the sound effects, making them sound very realistic! For instance when there is rain and thunder, the quality of the sound almost gives the impression to the viewers that these weather conditions are taking place in their world too!


It is hard to point out the highlights because the whole film is one big highlight! However there are scenes of great beauty and tenderness that include the preparation of a meal, a man romancing a woman and the birth of a child. There is also a devastating scene that depicts the bombing of a city and one will need a heart of stone not to be touched by the aftermath.


Right from the start Falafel Cart captivates the audience with its stunning graphics, wonderful music and sound effects. And right until the end it looses non of its power, delivering an experience that will remain with people for a long time.


The writer of this review would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the individuals who worked so hard in order to bring to the world this incredible film!

#JasonKnight