The trailer for this Polish short animation caused quite a stir at the start of 2011, and now out of the blue, the whole version is up on Vimeo thanks to Italy’s Imaginaria Film Festival. The reason for the initial interest is easily apparent—stunning visuals that recreate a WWII-era dogfight in the air. Poland’s under-appreciated studio Platige Image, provides the production, and all one can say is, “Wow”. The film looks like a gritty, graphic novel brought into motion. Damien Nenow, a relatively recent grad of Lodz Film School provides direction, based off of proof of concept developed while still a student.
The full-version of the film fails somewhat to live up to the promise of the teaser, as I feel it goes off the rails narratively. An extended action sequence, Paths of Hate is probably a couple of minutes too long, and introduces a surreal turn of events that you’ll either love or hate. The film drops you right into a gorgeous aerial dogfight, and attempts to show how the singleminded focus of the warrior perverts the intrinsic humanity of both combatants, creating something darker and more evil. However the depiction of this transformation is almost laughable in how over-the-top it is presented. I’ve seen the film twice at festivals, and the first time, flush with excitement from the trailer, I hated the full-version. However each subsequent viewing has deepened my appreciation, to where I almost find it profound. Definitely recommend that you see this and decide for yourself, and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.