SUMMARY: A fisherman in a desolate world overseen by towering cranes and prehistoric birds has an unusual encounter with a mermaid.
WHY IT’S HERE: Belgian director Raoul Servais’s previous film ‘Chromophobia’ was fairly obvious in the delivery of its message but with the haunting ‘Sirene’ Servais takes a more poetic, ambiguous approach and in doing so creates an even greater and more haunting film. The humour that sweetened ‘Chromophobia’s images of war is still very much present but in ‘Sirene’ it is a darker, more troubling satire in which the controlling hand of society’s self-appointed rulers emerges victorious and the only victory available to the innocents is a symbolic, spiritual one. ‘Sirene’ sees Servais mixing the cartoonishly farcical with the realistically grim with an incredibly deft hand and the story itself leaves much to the viewer’s interpretation. The resulting film is a masterpiece of 60s animation.