Examining the complicated relationships humans have with animals, Amy Nicholson’s festival favourite Pickle is a film of unexpected warmth and mirth. Centering on a couple’s dedication to homing sick and deformed animals (from paraplegic possums to cross-eyed cats), Nicholson’s 15-minute short may sound morbid on paper, but this documentary quickly proves to be a life-affirming watch.
Mark Twain once claimed “humor is tragedy plus time,” and director Nicholson certainly puts a light-hearted spin on what could have been a decidedly downbeat story with Pickle.
“I try to find a funny side to everything, and tragedy is no exception,” she explains in conversation with The New York Times, where the film premiered online. “This film’s unrelenting march of death has a light side, but hopefully between morbid curiosity and chuckling at the sheer volume of casualties, the audience will find a bit of themselves in this film.”
Often laugh-out-loud funny and invariably heartwarming, Pickle maintains a cheerful tone throughout, trusting its finale to leave you with a rather poignant taste in your mouth as our persevering pet-owning protagonists share their surprisingly diametric views on death and the afterlife.
Pickle enjoyed a successful tour on the festival circuit before picked up by The New York Times (not Peter Piper, sorry!) and is a fine addition to an impressive catalogue of shorts and features from Nicholson—which you can find out more about on her website below.