SUMMARY: A young girl nurses an elderly man back to health after she witnesses him collapsing. In return, the man teaches her to play the guqin.
WHY IT’S HERE: Chinese animator Te Wei retired shortly after completing ‘Feelings of Mountains and Waters’, a twenty minute gem of a film. This quiet beauty of animation is a fitting end to a career and feels like a peaceful, graceful farewell to the medium. Forsaking story for a series of tranquil scenes in which water and mountains are evoked vividly with the merest trace of ink and watercolours, ‘Feelings of Mountains and Waters’ is almost tactile in its ability to suggest the feel of wetness, wind and stone. The soundtrack is made up entirely of natural sounds coupled with the music of the guqin as the old man’s pupil becomes more experienced on the instrument. The beautiful sound it makes echoes the delicate sounds of nature and at the end of the film, the instrument is passed on to the girl. Whether Te Wei identified with this passing of a mantle as he slipped into retirement, the last film he left behind is every bit as wonderful as the music that accompanies it. Watching it for 20 minutes is a meditative, soothing experience.