- Country: France
- Initial release: July 2022 (United States)
- Film Director: Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars
- Running Time: 11 Minutes
- IMDB Grade: 6.5
In the realm of animated films, there are those that transport us to fantastical worlds and others that touch our hearts with their poignant storytelling. New Moon, a short film directed by Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars, falls into the latter category. Adapted from Colman Domingo’s play A Boy and His Soul, this animated gem takes us on a surreal journey of love, dreams, and the enduring bond between a mother and son.
Discovering New Moon
A Surrealist Journey
New Moon invites us into the imaginative world of young Jay Jay and his mother, Edie. Set in the backdrop of West Philadelphia, their inner-city dreams are illuminated by the magic of the new moon. The film captures the essence of their relationship and the inspiration they draw from each other, all while the soulful music of Aretha Franklin plays on a summer’s eve through a transistor radio in their backyard.
A Collaboration of Hearts and Souls
The creation of New Moon was a testament to the power of collaboration and the universal language of art. Colman Domingo, CEO of Edith Productions, and his husband Raul Domingo, President of the same company, teamed up with talented animators Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars from Lyon, France. Despite the geographical distance and language barriers, this team of strangers embarked on a unique journey to bring this heartfelt story to life.
A Tribute to Black Mothers and Sons
At its core, New Moon is a love letter dedicated to Black mothers and sons. The filmmakers sought to capture the essence of the deep connection and unwavering love that exists within these relationships. In an interview, Colman Domingo expressed the film’s purpose, stating, “It is basically about the love of mothers, Black boys, dreams, and the power of Aretha Franklin.” This short film aims to inspire and uplift, shedding light on the resilience and strength found within these bonds.
The Magic of Animation
A Visual Delight
One cannot discuss New Moon without acknowledging the breathtaking animation brought to life by Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars. The duo’s delicate color palette, juxtaposing darkness with inviting hues, creates a visually stunning world that captivates the viewer. Every frame is meticulously crafted, with attention to detail that is awe-inspiring. The animation style beautifully complements the story, enhancing its emotional impact.
The Narrator’s Voice
Colman Domingo, known for his captivating performances, lends his voice to New Moon as the film’s narrator. Domingo’s soothing voice carries the weight of the story, infusing it with compassion, love, and appreciation. His narration serves as a guiding force, enveloping the audience in the emotional journey of the characters. Domingo’s connection to the material is palpable, as he co-wrote the story with his husband, Raul Domingo, infusing it with their personal experiences and perspectives.
New Moon is a testament to the power of animation to evoke deep emotions. As the story unfolds, it touches upon universal themes of love, sacrifice, and the enduring impact of childhood memories. Through the medium of animation, the filmmakers are able to transcend the boundaries of reality, creating a dreamlike experience that resonates with viewers on an emotional level. The film reminds us of the power of storytelling and its ability to touch our hearts and souls.
The Impact of New Moon
A Personal Connection
The beauty of New Moon lies in its ability to evoke personal connections and reflections. The story of Jay Jay and his mother resonates with audiences who have experienced the profound love of a parent or the challenges of growing up. It serves as a reminder of the importance of cherishing our relationships and embracing the dreams that fuel our souls.
A Tribute to Motherhood
One of the film’s central themes is the celebration of motherhood. It pays homage to the sacrifices mothers make and the unwavering support they provide to their children. New Moon shines a light on the strength and resilience of Black mothers, highlighting the love and inspiration that carries them and their sons through life’s hardships. It is a powerful tribute to the nurturing spirit of motherhood and the impact it has on shaping lives.
An Invitation to Dream
New Moon encourages viewers to embrace their dreams, no matter the obstacles they may face. It reminds us that life is too short to ignore the passions that stir within us. The film captures the essence of childhood wonder and the importance of holding onto that sense of possibility as we navigate the complexities of adulthood. It serves as a gentle reminder to never lose sight of the dreams that make our hearts soar.