Sunday, April 27, 2008


Someone posted this on the AF & I was just blown away. I need to watch this a million more times just to learn from it. There aren't many 10 minute animations on the web that keep me glued to the screen,... this one had my eyes popping out of my head for the entire duration. My only disappointment with it (more with myself) is that I don't understand French. I have no clue what is being said but the animation is so damn good it has me wanting to learn the language.

Here it is for your visual pleasure, the first couple minutes are build up, but it really starts around the 4 minute mark. Unfortunately embedding was disabled by the person who uploaded it, but here is the link. Enjoy!

I just read a translation of the speaker's words in the animation. It is available through the "more info" link on the youtube page. Once I read it I was even more blown away than before, in fact I was almost moved to tears. The artist Mathieu Labaye created it as a tribute to his father Benoit Labaye who was put in a wheelchair from multiple sclerosis and passed away from pneumonia at the age of 55. The voice in the animation is Benoit, and his words are beutiful, scary and full of wisdom that only comes at great personal cost. His words touched me for a number of reasons. While my father did not suffer from MS, he did have a disease which gradually robbed him of the ability to move and communicate, and it took place over an agonizingly slow 10 year period. Through that time, much like Benoit, he never lost "himself." He never became a different person, but the person he was was forced to exist and live for the most part within the confines of his own head. I can't relate to what it's like to live within such constrictions. As Benoit points out, none of us can unless we've been there. I can, however, recall many times when my father & I exchanged glances where I would say "I wish I could share this with you" and he'd seem to simply say "I know." Unfortunately we both knew it was impossible, but he accepted his condition with quiet grace & never a complaint. Benoit's words remind me a lot of my father & almost seem like something he would have said.

Aside from the connection to my father's illness, MS is also a disease that affects my life as my wife's mother has suffered with it for almost 20 years now, the last 9 of which have been in a wheelchair, & the last 4 of those years she has lived in an assisted living facility. To add to that, my wife was also diagnosed with MS a little over 2 years ago. Her symptoms have been mild (relatively) so far, but we both have a clear sense of reality & I know there is an additional fear for her because when she see's her mother she now feels like she is looking into her own future. I showed this to my wife in the hope's that she would find some inspiration from Benoit's words and Mathieu's tribute to him, I know I have, & I hope you can as well. Please take the time to read the translation and watch the animation, I think you will find it to be more than worth it.

1 comment:

Ramez said...

Hey Pat, great post man.
As for your question comment on my blog, I devoted an entire new post =D in an answer.