522. The Sweater – Sheldon Cohen

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SUMMARY: A young boy living in Quebec is horrified when he receives a hockey sweater for the wrong team in the post and his mother forces him to wear it.

WHY IT’S HERE: Based on Roch Carrier’s short story ‘The Hockey Sweater’, an iconic and hugely popular piece of Canadian literature, ‘The Sweater’ is one of the most delightful, purely enjoyable animated anecdotes to come out of the National Film Board of Canada. Beautifully narrated by Carrier himself, Sheldon Cohen’s sweetly appealing artwork imbues this story of a mortifying childhood episode with a warm sense of nostalgia for the country’s obsession with hockey, the excitement of waiting for something in the post and the crushing disappointment when expectations are dashed. There is something in this short for everyone to relate to, although it holds a special significance for Canadians as an allegory for the tensions between francophone and Anglophone residents. This historical context lends ‘The Sweater’ even more thematic weight, although it is not necessary to know anything of this background in order to enjoy what is, on the face of it, a universally relevant story.

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