Summa Shorts: “Adagio”

From Russian animator Garri Bardin, an unsettling and disconcertingly-appropriate film for my Holy Week preparations:

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The origami-style animation is extraordinarily emotive — so much told in the slight turning of those faceless heads. And while the short’s genesis is, apparently, a brief-and-mostly-political bit from Maxim Gorky, I could not escape the Christological overtones. Nor, sadly, is it easy to escape the ways in which it is all too accurate, both in terms of how easily we are swayed by like-minded crowds, and of how quickly we forget what following Him actually looks like. (It also features a particularly fine use of the wrongfully-attributed Adagio of Albinoni.)

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.

  • bharper8

    Yes, wonderful. But how are we to understand the end? Satan, alone and defeated? Or is that too obvious?

    • Joseph Susanka

      Oh, interesting, Bob. You’re actually taking it more optimistically than I.

      I took the final sequence as a sign that the crowds missed the point entirely, and were turning on the “other guy” for the same reason they initially turned on the Christ figure — because he’s different. (Maybe I’m reading the paper “body language” incorrectly, but the crowd at the end most definitely seems hostile to me. And the black figure seems mildly curious to start with, and scared at the end. Not the posture of Satan, in my mind.)