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A man is stabbed in the subway. In the last seconds before he dies, a teenage friendship flashes before his eyes.

15 – 20 | 2012 | Animation | Drama | Friendship | Netherlands | 2012

This animation by Dutch animator Hisko Hulsing has won 22 awards in many festivals across the world, and not by chance. It’s not only visually striking – impressive drawings and mixed techniques to achieve them (120 oil painted frames, 25,000 drawings in 2D and 3D) – but also has an unusually strong narrative for a short, although it takes 18 minutes to unfold. The story requires a certain concentration, and  the dark atmosphere and the crudeness of certain scenes are perhaps not for everyone (and will be stuck in your mind  for a long time), but the “effort” has paid off because it is a  sincere, passionate and moving life story.

The short portrays the friendship between two boys, whose paths end up dividing. One ends up in a spiral of drugs and crime, under the influence of a young dealer who lives with his abusive father in camper inside a junkyard; the other somehow manages to redeem himself and get out of this state of degradation and deprivation, even finding love. Will meet again in the future, tragically. The story is based on Hisko Hulsing’s own life experiences. Friendships ended badly are something anyone can relate to, especially during teenage years they can be very intense, in an age in which the other sex is still a foreign territory, and teens start to distance themselves from their parents. The sense of loss and abandon is what the director wanted to narrate in Junkyard.

Hisko Hulsing attended the Academy of Art in Rotterdam, which led to his filmmaking almost by accident. Thanks to his brother, who involved him one day in a film project, Hulsing remained captivated by the power of the medium, specializing in all technical and creative aspects necessary to make quality films and animations. In about six years, together with a team of 12 people, he wrote, directed, animated and personally financed what is one of the most exciting animations of recent times.

Update: Hisko Hulsing has created the beautiful animated inserts of Montage of Heck, the documentary on the life of Kurt Cobain.

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great food. My motto is: your motto.

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