A grown man and his young daughter find themselves in outer space with space helmets on.
Around them are different everyday items – a stack of postcards, a pot of red flowers, and a set
of colorful alphabetical children’s blocks. Every item is tied to the surface by a thin piece of
yarn, and as the father examines them, the objects begin to float away into the distant darkness.
His daughter grasps onto the floating objects in an attempt to save them, but instead of weighing
the objects down, she too is carried into outer space. Her father is puzzled, and he helplessly
watches his young daughter drift away. We then see the father again, but he’s much older now
and sits in his living room, unaware of his surroundings.
Souvenir shows us the inside of an old man’s mind as he suffers from dementia and depends on
souvenirs to remember the most important person in his life – his daughter.
This short, nonverbal animated film follows the father and daughter as they hike, swim, float,
and fly through the father’s adventurous memories and thoughts. Their journey begins in a
treehouse in autumn where the father and daughter meet before they embark on an adventure.
They continue on a sailboat and transition into the black deep sea illuminated by rainbow fish.
After boarding a hot air balloon ride, they fly to outer space. Their experiences are marked by
objects – souvenirs – that represent all of their adventures and remind the father of cherished
moments with his young daughter.
In this writer’s opinion, Souvenir is a visually pleasing film that highlights the sensitive, touching
topics of memories and their inevitable fade. We see the father recognize his own memories are
fleeting as the sight of his caring daughter confuses him. It is an emotional watch focusing on
reminiscence and the effect of dementia on relationships. This film is for someone interested in a
bittersweet animated story told through actions vice dialogue.
Directed by Cristina Vilches, Paloma Canonica
Watch Souvenir on the Children’s Film Festival Seattle website
Images courtesy of Children’s Film Festival Seattle
About the Author: Alexis Leonard
Alexis Leonard’s passion for reading and writing began in the Hundred Acre Wood when she accompanied Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh on their friendly, imaginative adventures. At the age of seven, Alexis was inspired by this honey-loving bear and began writing her own short stories filled with magical kingdoms, eerie forests, and furry monsters. She is interested in international relations and foreign languages, practicing her language skills by reading short stories from around the globe and learning about literature from different cultures. In her spare time, you will find Alexis reading psychological thrillers, watching anime, or focusing on her own creative writing.