SUMMARY: When quiet Edmond, a figure of fun to his colleagues, is crowned with a pair of paper donkey ears, it unlocks a part of his character that no-one expects.
WHY IT’S HERE: Franck Dion’s highly unusual and strangely beautiful ‘Edmond Was a Donkey’ is a wonderful, haunting short about a quiet little man whose life is changed by a cruel prank. Depicted as generally contented despite his colleagues picking on him, Edmond is not another in a long line of characters pushed to breaking point and descending into mental illness. On the contrary, he is shown to be happily married, with a loving wife, an active sex life and a job he is dedicated to. But when his workmates quietly slip a pair of paper donkey ears onto his head, Edmond suddenly sees something in himself that he had not before. This characterless man discovers his personality and it is that of a donkey. The rest of the film follows Edmond’s slow separation from society as he rejects the life he knows in favour of the new identity he has discovered. Told in flashback by his colleagues and wife, ‘Edmond Was a Donkey’ is a film that could have been played as silly or absurdly surreal but instead Dion draws out a melancholic beauty in what is ultimately a meditation of the human search for a place in the world.