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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'DOCHIA AND TRAJAN'
- Directed by Amalia Vornicu -

Romanian folk tales have always been fascinating and a great source of inspiration for many art forms. We’ve seen them mostly in fiction films and not that often in animation movies, but Amalia Vornicu’s short film is a very intriguing and provocative one.

The film is the thought-provoking story of Dochia, a very beautiful woman, who is the youngest sister of the Dacian king, Decebalus. After the loss of her brother, she doesn’t want to leave her motherland with any price, but Trajan, the Roman emperor and also the enemy conqueror, falls madly in love with her. He hopes to make her his wife and take her to Rome, but soon he will realize that she can’t bare this idea, so he gets angry with her, till she resorts to an ultimate sacrifice, in order to remain always in her motherland.

The director aims to achieve a certain effect of patriotism with this cinematography adaptation, being perceived more like a cultural statement. From the perspective of an animation film, the director evokes an objective point of view and it’s also relevant from an educational outlook. We also have to mention the soundtrack, which provides an extra feeling of tension, adding to the dramatic atmosphere and making the viewers empathize more with the main character’s struggle.

Looking more like a video game, we haven’t really appreciated the visual style of the animation. The characters weren’t that appealing and the editing didn’t always had the right pace for the plot, sometimes being funny instead of dramatic. Instead, the part when she runs throughout the woods is actually a great one, having an interesting structure and visual concept, and it could actually be suitable for a music video.

All in all, `Dochia and Trajan` is an ambitious animation and we think that it’s a great example of an educational support for Romanian folk tales and an easy-to-look-at adaptation for viewers who are not familiar with the original story of Dochia and Trajan.