A Story That Makes You Question What You Think You Know
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 28m
Director(s): Alex Kronemer
Writer(s): Alex Kronemer
Cast: Mena Massoud, Millie Davis, and Farah Tahir
Where To Watch: opening On Demand and Digital on February 21, 2023, via Freestyle Digital Media
RAVING REVIEW: LAMYA'S POEM is a must-see for a visually stunning and emotionally impactful movie. This animated film takes us on a journey through the lives of two refugees separated by time: Lamya, a contemporary Syrian girl, and the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. As they flee from violence and oppression, the film offers a powerful message of hope and cultural memory.
The visual style of LAMYA'S POEM is breathtaking. The animation has a graphic novel quality in contemporary sequences and an otherworldly quality in depicting Rumi's life. The music, composed by Christopher Willis, blends the two timelines seamlessly, creating a smooth and immersive experience.
At the core of LAMYA'S POEM are a message of hope, the impact of history, and the power of one's culture. Lamya’s journey deals with themes of anger, revenge, and loss, but the film suggests a poetic way of dealing with these emotions.
Lamya, a young girl living in Syria with her mother, begins this chapter of her story when she receives a book of poetry from her teacher. As she reads the poems, she dreams of meeting the poet and discovering the power of his words. Through her journey, she learns about the importance of storytelling and the power of the written word.
The animation style of LAMYA'S POEM is simple but highly effective, with characters that are primarily outlined but have an impressive subtlety of expression. The film's themes of connections, from the one across time to the love between mother and daughter, are explored with tenderness and insight. Colors in the film, such as green and red, and symbolic visual metaphors support the storytelling and evoke a sense of rich culture through classical painting techniques, bold silhouettes, and immense vistas.
While I appreciate the film's accessibility to Western audiences through its use of English dialogue, I would have preferred to see it in its original language, Arabic, with subtitles. The English version, while more approachable for most, was a little jarring for me, even with the talented voice cast.
LAMYA’S POEM is a beautiful blend of animation, storytelling, and a powerful message, combined with its stunning visuals, making it a must-see for all audiences. Whether you're a fan of poetry or just looking for an uplifting and thought-provoking film, LAMYA'S POEM is guaranteed to captivate and inspire.
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[photo courtesy of FREESTYLE DIGITAL MEDIA]