Saturday, September 22, 2018

Même les pigeons vont au paradis/Even Pigeons Go to Heaven (2007)

I’m always looking for stuff to stream on Netflix.  Sometimes, watching something interesting means renting the DVD.  When I saw The 2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films, I decided to give it a shot.  I hadn’t heard of any of the films, but it meant getting several of them.  And the were all contenders for the Academy Award in 2007.  How could I go wrong?

The first film I watched was this one, Even Pigeons Go to Heaven.  (Or Même les pigeons vont au paradis, if you prefer.)  The short is about an old man, Mr. Moulin, who is about to have a very serious accident.  It starts with a priest, called simply Le curé, racing to get to Mr. Moulin in time.

He does, saving the man before he hits the ground.  The priest takes the opportunity to offer Mr. Moulin the XV-750.  It’s a spherical object that takes the occupant to heaven.  Given Moulin’s list of sins, his life savings would be a small price to pay.

The animation is CGI, but has the look of wooden puppets.  The action is pretty quick, but works.  I don’t think this would have worked as a feature-length film.  The lack of extraneous details makes for a fairly efficient story.  You get the message without a lot of exposition.  You’re given just enough detail about the characters to know what’s going on.

On the one hand, it does look like an indictment of organized religion.  The priest is trying to take Moulin’s money for the promise of eternal life.  The priest has a long list of Moulin’s minor sins.  And Moulin can’t take it with him.  (Then again, neither can the priest.)  It becomes obvious that the priest is just after the money.

On the other hand, it’s also an interesting story.  It’s maybe not a great bedtime story for children, but I think most adults can enjoy it.  There’s a clear protagonist and antagonist.  It’s also possible to read a few things into it.  I could see this being shown in a class to start discussion.  If you have the ability to see this movie, either through Netflix, the library or some other means, I’d suggest doing so.  It’s only nine minutes and very entertaining.

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