989. My Dad – Marcus Armitage

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SUMMARY: A young boy talks about his father but his fond descriptions soon begin to hint at a judgemental and dangerous influence.

WHY IT’S HERE: Marcus Armitage’s ‘My Dad’ is an absolute belter of an animated short which looks at the complex subject of inherited prejudice versus personal inclination. Created with oil pastels and newspaper clippings, ‘My Dad’ is a viscerally relevant film which highlights the sad fact that racial prejudice isn’t just a thing of the past. The bold, vivid colours mingle with the blunt black and white of the newsprint to create an uncomfortably arresting vision and as the dominant influence of tabloids begins to literally tear through frames of the film, the viewer feels like they are witnessing an almost unstoppable force. But the experience of watching ‘My Dad’ is one not of hopelessness but of a rallying cry to not allow the opinions of others to batter your own into submission. It’s an invigorating experience akin to a socially-conscious punk song that makes the open-minded viewer feel empowered by the fact that artists like Armitage are out there giving exposure to uncomfortable subjects and hopefully getting through to some people who would otherwise be lost to overbearing parental influence. Nominated for a BAFTA, in my book this hugely important, tremendously effective firecracker of a film should have won.

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