3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 9 minutes
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Nominated for Best Short Film at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, Genevieve Anderson’s film “Ola’s Box of Clovers” combines puppetry arts, live-action footage, and still photos in relating the story of a young woman and her grandmother. Narrated lines like “my grandma died when she was eighty-six years-old,” “she was once young like me, she had dreams,” and “I remember secrets she told me, wishes she confessed when I was still too young to understand how fragile they were” make you think that the film might’ve been inspired by a prose-poem. “Ola’s Box of Clovers” is a heartfelt look at how much we really know about people close to us. In one sequence, the narrator is describing the way she and others remembered her grandmother. They recall her being saintly, good with kids, and unlikely to waste anything. The director juxtaposes those words with images that often contradict the implications of what is said.

What’s interesting about this film is that you perceive it to be filmed puppetry mixed with live-action and not the other way around. In one of the most touching scenes, the grandmother and the grand-daughter are outside during sunset. The grandmother is holding a real dandelion and blows at its seeds. They scatter in the wind, a truly lovely sight to behold. The film is a little unsettling because the grandmother is more human than her grand-daughter ever believed could be possible, but “Ola’s Box of Clovers” should be on your list of movies-to-see.

Posted on January 14, 2005 in Reviews by

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