Eye For Film >> Movies >> Animated Guide To Polish Success (2011) Film Review
Animated Guide To Polish Success
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
"I wish I'd been taught economics at school," said a friend of mine recently, echoing a lament made by an increasing number of people in the developed world - we are in the grip of a financial crisis that most of us don't have the tools to understand. This cheerful little film aims to remedy that situation. Lighthearted and relentlessly cute, it focuses on Poland's recent economic history but, in the process, has lessons for everyone.
Centered on a traditional Polish family getting ready for dinner in a neat little house, this has the feel of a public information film, but in the best ways. With a rapid voiceover and energetic graphics, it packs an awful lot of information into just seven minutes. What's particularly impressive is the way it explains economic principles by extrapolating from familiar everyday things. We watch as a stream of water from a tap spreads outward to illustrate the flow of different types of traffic around a city and then mutates again to convey the flow of information through communications systems. Piles of money show the comparatively slow initial growth of Poland upon joining the EU and illustrate how this gave it stability when others' fortunes fell, but send a more specific message by morphing into people working at their desks, directly conveying the value of human assets.
The sad thing about films made as smoothly and elegantly as this is that the true level of artistry involved in their creation is often missed. Although this is a short film which uses computer-based graphics, an enormous amount of effort has gone into designing, developing and coordinating them. They're very effective at getting the message across but they're also visually appealing and consistently fun to watch - this doesn't feel like receiving a lecture. Whilst there isn't really room to build character, the individuals we meet certainly have personality.
The other enjoyable thing bout this film stems from its upbeat take on economics - and hence on people, systems and civilisation - at a time when almost everything we hear is negative. Yes, it's simplistic, but it's a good introduction to the subject and it reminds us that there's more to this picture than despair.Reviewed on: 14 Sep 2012