"......emotional and psychological pain: we can't see it, but it's there."
Content Source: Short of the Week
Video direct url: https://youtu.be/ye9GdZ6R-hQ
Duration: 6 min 39 sec
Video Intro/Notes (by Short of the Week):
Finn has stains on his body. One day he meets a group of cool kids with different stains on their bodies and understands that these stains aren't just pretty.
"The Stained Club" is the multi award-winning graduation animation from students at the renowned French animation school Supinfocom Rubika.
Dealing with the effects of abuse both physical and emotional, it is both a stirring tribute to childhood, and a warning to not overlook the inherent vulnerability of kids.
"A bittersweet animation that pairs fabulous design with emotional storytelling, The Stained Club is one of the standout animations of the year.
A stirring tribute to the boundless imagination of childhood, this theme is intercut with a clear-eyed warning about the physical and psychological vulnerability of this fragile age. So while the film is immensely joyful in moments, it uses the inherent innocence of kids to camouflage the ugliness that can lurk underneath.
The graduation project of six students from the famed French school Supinfocom Rubika, the short 6min film focuses on Finn, a lonely boy who finds camaraderie with a neighborhood gang of "cool kids".
Finn's breathless exultation of the unique and awesome qualities of his new friends is infectious, as they play games and cause trouble in the rundown town they inhabit. Finn finds communion with his new friends because they too are "stained"—Finn has an eerie blue, glittery glow that emanates from areas on his skin. He doesn't know why its there, but thinks he recognizes the same in the red and purplish splotches of his friends...
A sort of Amblin-esque homage to childhood is all the rage nowadays, from the breakout success of Stranger Things, to the box-office record setting Stephen King adaptation IT, and it is easy to see some of those same qualities in The Stained Club. This lineage recognizes the inherent trauma of childhood, and externalizes it via fantasy/horror.
Finn's supernatural glow serves a similar function, but the trauma here is closer to home. Getting the gang together, and the care-free montages of adventurous play are always fun to experience, but the coming-of-age moment for Finn does not come from some monster, but from his close friend—his loss-of-innocence is the result of the dawning realization that "stains" are not pretty, but are instead shameful. It's a simple, but devastating denouement, that is deeply affecting long after the film's close.
The origin of the film's premise is deeply tied to that trauma. In communications with the team it was related to us that they had,
...stumbled upon a photography project by Angela Strassheim where she took pictures of seemingly perfect American houses where tragic murders had happened before. She revealed the traces of these murders with a special UV light.
That made me link it to emotional and psychological pain: we can't see it, but it's there. I wanted to create a story where the character's pain is visible on his skin.
The team's simple hope was to produce a piece that could help audiences take more seriously children's psychological pain, especially the one caused by their very own parents. "
- S/W Curator, Jason Sondhi