Have you ever loved someone so much that you wanted to bite them?
Dutch filmmaker Nina Gantz takes that idea to an extreme in her stop-motion short film, “Edmond,” about the mind of a man who has cannibalistic urges.
“I wanted to make a film about a man who was hiding a big urge inside, one that he was hiding from the world,” said the filmmaker, who is a finalist in TheWrap’s 2016 ShortList Film Festival.
The short takes a rather surreal look into Edmond’s troubled life as he struggles with his urge to literally eat those he adores.
“Edmond” explores the repercussions of such a life and also explains what formed his compulsion to begin with, even rewinding all the way back to his time in the womb. And somehow Gantz, who currently lives outside of London, managed to tell her story elegantly in just nine minutes.
“It’s a character I understand a little bit: When you really love someone you want to have a bite of them,” she further explained. “Edmond’s impulse to love and be close to others is strong — maybe too strong.”
The short film starts out with Edmond standing alone by a lake, contemplating suicide. From there the story’s timeline launches in reverse. “He goes on a journey backwards through his life,” said Gantz. “He revisits all his defining moments in search for the origin of his desires.”
Beyond the film’s quirky, tragic theme is Gantz’s ingenuity with the materials she used to tell her story. Raw wool straight from the sheep was used to build the characters. “You have to wash it,” she explained. “I needle-felted it… You can almost make a sculpture out of it because it becomes really dense.”
Facial features in the film were later animated because, as Gantz said, “I needed to show the emotion.”
This was Gantz’ first stop-motion film, and it took her and her team a total of 13 months to make, eight months of which was spent filming.
Gantz admitted she worried about her story’s subject matter.
“I was scared there was too much of a shock factor — so much that the film wouldn’t get to the emotion anymore,” she said. “If you love some people so much you have to eat them, you become reclusive from people. It’s pretty horrible because you hurt the people you love.”
Watch the film above. Viewers can also screen the films at any time during the festival at Shortlistfilmfestival.com and vote from Aug. 9-23.