SUMMARY: The meaning of artistic freedom is examined through the recollections of Romanian violinist Alexander Balanescu.
WHY IT’S HERE: Coming of the back of his controversial ‘Ten Commandments’ series, cult animator Phil Mulloy made one of his most heartfelt, different and winning films with ‘The Wind of Changes’. Although there are elements of Mulloy’s brand of extreme satire here, they are largely secondary to an intimate, passionate portrait of a man struggling towards a freedom of expression that is not available to him in his native Romania and doesn’t come as easily as one might expect in either New York or London. Balanescu’s recollections of his first violin and his subsequent journey are moving in their vividness and eloquence, while the insistent, repetitive score, also contributed by Balanescu, is hypnotic, fantastic and mesmerically grating all at once. It perfectly compliments Mulloy’s brilliant imagery and the film emerges as a unique, philosophical biography by a filmmaker whose work is too often pigeon-holed as crudely rendered and reliant on extreme imagery and shock humour. The true depth of what Mulloy does at his best neatly ties in with the themes of ‘The Wind of Changes’, a short which undoubtedly captures him at the peak of his powers.