Sweet Heart - A dark, psychological fairytale combining live-action and 3D stop-motion animation. Read more....
Made at the prestigious National Film and Television School in 1994, ‘Sweet Heart’ fuses live-action and 3D model animation with traditional, classic fairytale to explore the female psyche and the western socialisation of girls into women, addressing body issues and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
With echoes of Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella, ‘Sweet Heart’ stylishly plays with size and scale to tell the tale of a young girl (Sweet Heart) as she grows into a woman and her difficult relationship with her self, her changing body and her role within the traditional patriarchal family unit.
The girl’s inner struggle with her self-image is mirrored by her childhood companion, the cuddly Raggy doll, who, in order to stay loved and become socially acceptable after the arrival of Candy (the slender, man-made, plastic doll), staples, rolls and binds herself in an attempt to rid herself of her stuffing.
After ridding herself of her stuffing, which is effectively her life force, she climbs inside the empty, static, shell of Candy and activates her. She then goes and lives in the dolls house, but the perfect life eludes her and her hunger forces her to make secret nightly visits to the toy basket where she binges on stuffing.
Originally made on 16mm, co-produced by Constance Harris, with cinematography by award-winning film-maker, Lynne Ramsay and music by composer, Simon Whiteside, ‘Sweet Heart’ is the sequel to ‘Daddy’s Little Bit Of Dresden China’. The Raggy doll in ‘Sweet Heart’ and the girl child in ‘Dresden’ are essentially the same character in a different physical form.
The Rag doll’s struggle mirrors the silent, unseen struggle of the girl as she becomes trapped in a cycle of eating, binging and emptying herself, so she can remain within the confines of the image she has been taught to believe is acceptable.
Sweet Heart as a girl and woman, is played by real life daughter and mother actresses, Natasha Humphrey and Lydia Giblin.
(SLIDE-SHOW) Raggy in disguise as the Candy doll, making her secret nightly visit to the toy basket to feed herself.
'Sweet Heart' is largely silent, with very little dialogue due to anorexia often being thought of as a silent protest with the distressing internal struggle expressed visually through the body's image.
The moment of truth. In anger, Raggy accidentally rips off Candy's head and discovers that her plastic rival is completely hollow. Raggy goes on to seek what she thinks will be sanctuary inside Candy's body, but the nightmare is only just beginning.
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