The Sword (Меч, 2006) by Yelena Gavrilko

Current Page || History

The Sword
Mech (ru)
Мечът (bg)
Mõõk (et)

Year 2006
Director(s) Gavrilko Yelena
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) (wordless)
Genre(s) Folklore & myth (non-Rus./USSR)
NSFW / 18+
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:30:05 profile Ru, En
264 visitors

(No subtitles available)

Is the video not playing correctly? Click here.


A polarizing, auteur, adults-only, studio-censored 30-minute tour-de-force about love, carnal desire, psychology and balance.

The film CANNOT be watched on Youtube (the above link is only the first part), but can be watched here. The studio censored the film by replacing most of the music (the director did not bother with using only music that she owned the copyrights for, but instead used whichever songs inspired her) cropping some sections and cutting out five minutes, and this 25-minute version was the only one that was released on DVD. They also did not allow it into any film festivals, so it did not win any awards.

Nevertheless, the director's cut was widely seen and discussed among the professional Russian animation community at the time of release (Georgiy Borodin wrote an article about it, in Russian), and it was and remains a very polarizing work. It is an enormously ambitious labour of love by Gavrilko, who began it in the 1990s, then fell ill for a long time and only returned to it after many years, at a time when such non-child-friendly material was no longer in vogue at Soyuzmultfilm and in the wider Russian society. The studio, it seems, only realized what sort of film it was after it had already been completed (though they had access to the screenplay, which was pretty explicit).

This is a film based on Scandinavian ballads, in allegorical form reflecting the complex relationship of two principles - Male and Female, Light and Darkness, Love and Death. In the circle of the eternal dance of life, two main characters are involved - the Girl and the Knight in different guises (king, jester - the three perhaps representing to Id, Ego and Superego). Their relationship develops on two levels - realistic and symbolic. The art direction, based on medieval engravings, the Scandinavian traditions of wooden sculptures and ornaments, as well as the color scheme, carry a deep philosophical and symbolic meaning. The film is made using the technique of total animation.



To add comment, please login or register.