Seville Festival 2022 | ‘My love affair with marriage’ is perfect proof that independent animation can stand up to Disney or Ghibli without any problem

Animation, considered as a genre, doesn’t make any sense. A medium that can bring things as diverse as ‘Inside out’, ‘Unicorn wars’, ‘Spider-man: a new universe’, ‘flee’, ‘The fireflies’s grave’ or the film that concerns us and we have been able to see in the Seville Festival, cannot be considered a genre under any circumstances. There are no more points in common than the images drawn in movement. ‘My love affair with marriage’ is further proof of that animation is more alive than ever, no matter how much some want to stifle it and turn it into a children’s redoubt.

made between all

In 2017, Signe Baumane decided that her film was too personal to leave it in the hands of a production company and he went to try his luck on Kickstarter to finish it. She got what she wanted, albeit for the bare minimum: she asked for $124,000 and reached $132,000 supported by, among others, Bill Plympton. And if something exudes from ‘My love affair with marriage’ it’s absolute creative freedom. The kind that comforts and is grateful even when it doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head.

This movie could only exist as animation. Characters are stretched, deformed, molded, turned into other things or merged creating amazing hybrids. It is impossible to make a live-action version without betraying everything it represents, its impossible mixes, the characters designed in the most picturesque way possible, his style indebted to the lively school of Eastern Europe (of which ‘Proletarian and parasite’ was a perfect parody and a way for everyone to understand what I mean) and, above all, a plot that, shot in real image, would lead to rhythm failures and sensation of little lesson

My Love Affair With Marriage 4

But Baumane manages to mix it all in a film that almost perfectly mixes humor, human drama and history told without complexes with a unique style that makes it stand out from most of the productions of recent years. The story of Zelma, a woman chained to the personality she’s been told she’s supposed to have, and her relentless search for love and marriage in Soviet times. It is unique, different, hilarious and very sad at the same time. Oh yes: and also, a musical.

Instead of killing, they sing!

It is true that the script is great, the direction magnificent and the style unique, but it must be recognized that the songs are not the forte of the tape. Sure, the budget hasn’t been enough for more, but even for a lover of musicals like me, every time the characters broke into song, no matter how clever the lyrics were, it was more of an ordeal than a blessing, and the worst of a film to which, otherwise, it is difficult to scratch faults.

My Love Affair With Marriage

‘My love affair with marriage’ hits one of the key points: we feel empathy for Zelma because we know her origins and what she has been through, but he refuses to both victimize her and make her a paragon of unlikely goodness. Our protagonist, as part of being lost in the world and not understanding her surroundings, is not only special and different from the rest: it is unpleasant and unfair as a result of having lived in cold and gray countries who refused to let him express himself freely.

But the film itself, without justifying, explains Zelma’s reactions to being locked in toxic relationships and making wrong decisions through the representation of the cognitive system and its consequent release of different substancessuch as serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which make us not only able to understand it, but also also see ourselves reflected and understand ourselves. Because all of us, at some point in life, have done stupid things for love… And it has a scientific explanation.

Is the present? let it wear

The movie tries to open a dialogue between the past and the presentshowing that some issues that now seem like inventions of modern times, such as transsexuality or toxic relationships, have always been there, only that now there is a way to call it and normalize it when before they were stigmas that had to be carried inside.

In the end, no matter how hard the story we are being told, full of gaslight, pain, misunderstanding and submission‘My love affair with marriage’ always opens a window to laughter, smiles and hope, turning a boundless drama into an improbable comedy.

‘My love affair with marriage’ is proof that it is not necessary to have a large study behind and marketing studios supporting each of your artistic decisions to make a great animated film that, in this case, exceeds all expectations thanks, precisely, to not putting any limits on the way of telling the story. A small great wonder that, of course, does not deserve to go unnoticed.

Seville Festival 2022 | ‘My love affair with marriage’ is perfect proof that independent animation can stand up to Disney or Ghibli without any problem