Tale of a Toy
The perspective of this animated film is unquestionably nationalistic but it’s not every Soviet propaganda piece that quotes Ivan Turgenev and offers such a mournful picture of violence. A prisoner in a concentration camp fashions a Don Quixote figure who takes up the charge against Nazism (this knight-errant tilts at windmills in the shape of Swastikas). Encompassing puppetry, live action and archival still photographs, TALES OF A TOY contemplates historical events as disparate as the Spanish Civil War and the 1973 military coup in Chile. The film’s poetic evocations of the Nazi concentration camps merit comparison with Alain Resnais’ NIGHT AND FOG.