Animating the Birth of a Mountain

There is a trove of treasures on the National Film Board site including a short film by Alison Reiko Loader.

Showa Shinzan

The description:

This animated film tells the story of a young Japanese girl’s relationship with her grandfather, a postmaster and amateur geologist. When the neighboring Mount Usu erupts during World War II, he records its activity. As he witnesses the birth of a new mountain named Showa Shinzan, he transcends the misery and folly of war that surrounds them and teaches his granddaughter a valuable lesson about life. Evoking the tradition of Bunraku puppetry, this animated film is based on actual events.

The secret is to make the repeated gesture of observation into an unfolding story whereby slowly the grandchild comes to understand the patience of recording a natural phenomenon.

And this is captured beautifully by the final words of the film:

Mountains are sleeping giants. They bear the passage of time beyond human comprehension. But if you are fated to see the birth of a mountain, you are blessed.

We have vicariously witnessed the birth of a mountain and a gem of a film. Doubly blessed.

And so for day 2579

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