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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Review - Song of the Sea

Director: Tomm Moore – Irland, Luxemburg, France, Belgium, Denmark

Little Ben's best treasure is a seashell given to him by his mother before she one day just walks into the sea from where she had come. She is a half-human, half seal, called a Selkie. Now, the father lives on his own in the isolated lighthouse on a remote island with his son and the six-year old mute little Saoirse. The two children are enchanted by the song which Saoirse discovered by playing on the shell. Trouble starts when their forceful grandmother takes them to Dublin. They don't like the city and are missing the freedom of the sea.

Soon they find a way of escaping and are embarking on a mystical adventure by meeting ancient sea gods and fairies. Where does their mother come from? What is the family mystery? This tale is told with a great understanding of the children's needs and their dreams. It unfolds on different levels finding parallels between the real and the phantasy. The weaving together of Celtic and Irish folklore with ethereal musical arrangements adds a dreamlike touch.

It is a pleasure to watch the carefully hand-drawn and watercolor-painted scenes with their distinct texture. The Irish director Tomm Moore with screen writer Will Collins and artistic director Adrien Merigeau have created a truly poetic multimedia experience. Song of the Sea was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar this year. It is truly a work of art which can be enjoyed by children as well as adults. (Birgit S.)

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