Feminam short film

★★★★

Directed by: #MarijkeDeBelie

Berlin Liberi Film Festival Review by: #ChrisOlson


Feminam short film

A hand-drawn #animation from filmmaker Marijke De Belie, Feminam is a short yet virile burst of cinema that attempts to visually represent some of the forms women have taken over centuries. The result is a submersive and stirring experience.


Coming in at less than two minutes long, audiences of the Berlin Liberi Film Festival may feel the #filmmaker is attempting too much to encapsulate the whole of womanhood since the dawn of time with such a short running length. Yet, Feminam is not by any means a total or conclusive piece. Instead it is an artistic representation that displays the glorious variety of the female role within the viewer's perception of it. As each figure morphs into another and the varying shapes blend and merge, a dream like atmosphere is created that feels almost Freudian.


This is reinforced by the methodology, which involves pencil drawings and a bit of wood. The simplicity of the techniques and the personal attachment to the materials makes this a more intimate affair than one might anticipate. The visuals are also accompanied by a voice track spitting adjectives and labels over the changing shape of the female figure. This “creation” style sequence has an accumulative power, eschewing any sense of cynicism for something more positive and powerful. This is not about female subjugation but the awesome strength of femininity.


There exists, also, a spiritual element within the #animatedfilm. Several of the guises which appear on screen during Feminam have religious connotations which further develops the themes of the piece. By including a diverse range of belief systems, the audience is asked to contemplate the connection between the natural form and the role women have played in faith and worship, some of which seem to complement the female form whilst others seem at odds.


A compelling and intricate movie, then, and one that contains a surging power through animation. Feminam is a robust journey through womanhood and femininity that celebrates the versatility of the gender and the fluidity of the role.