With neither narration nor dialogue, Skin for Skin tells the tale of the fur trading industry. Described as “a tale of profit and loss”, the events take place during a brutal animal harvest in 1823.
Warning: cute animals are suddenly gutted across the screen. Although stylistically so, this might frighten young children and sadden animal lovers. It may be gruesome, but it portrays the reality of the fur trade, and certainly sets up the plot finale, where good vanquishes evil.
Though Carol Beecher and Kevin D. A. Kurytnik have created a very violent short film, it is also teeming with visual excellence. The close attention to details in hair, fur, precipitation, and the convincing fire, fog and water effects are hard to not notice. The mix of 2D and 3D animation employs a limited color palette that changes from scene to scene. From the purples and deep pinks of dusk, to the sepia and blue toned water sequences, the images are aesthetically pleasing.
The mystical and spiritual side is subtle, but there are a few shots where fowl and man are one and the same. What good comes of murdering living creatures in such a brutal manner? They too have a spirit, and a life – just like the humans who hunt them. And in the end, karma arrives to even the score.
Skin for Skin will have its world premiere in the Fantasia Festival’s Outer Limits of Animation section. De Seve Cinema, Sunday July 16th, 2017 at 2:45pm.