SUNDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! The Shawl is a delightful animated short about a reunion, love, and magic. As told by two infectiously funny lovebirds, the short relies on the audio of them recounting their reunion at a Stevie Nicks concert. The narrative is accompanied by painterly animation that captures the two with whimsy.
To begin, after years of long-distance, the two men finally meet in person and go to see their favorite witch perform. The dialogue pelts the audience with rapid-fire one-liners as the two verbally step over each other to share their romantic memory.”I am an artsy woman with a beard,” “I am a size 23 in women’s and a size whatever in men’s,” “It was just women and gay men everywhere, it was heaven.” While their reunion was shot by Cupid’s arrow, it was the magical moment when one of them noticed Stevie’s shawl on stage and remarked, “That’s the one in the video,” only to have Nicks confirm this to the audience moments later.
“… after years of long-distance, the two men finally meet in person and go to see their favorite witch perform.”
This is just an exuberant little piece of animation that cuts a pair of goofball lovers loose and animates it for all the world to see. It is the capturing of that magic moment when true love between two bawdy boys is sealed at a concert by a magical witch. It is funny, it is touching, and frankly, I didn’t want it to end. As director Sara Kiener’s, directorial debut, we see that she has a keen understanding of character, personality, and the underlying silliness of love. As was stated, the marriage of audio and visuals is perfect, conveying also her firm connection to visual storytelling.
If you get the chance to see The Shawl at a festival or online, do it. I am still chuckling at these two free spirits that live large and with abandon.