• Country: Qatar / Jordan / Germany
  • Initial release: August 7, 2021 (Switzerland)
  • Film Director: Ahmad Saleh
  • Running Time: 16 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 6.8

In the realm of animated shorts, few films capture the essence of human resilience and the power of storytelling quite like “Night.” Directed by Ahmad Saleh, this captivating 16-minute stop-motion and puppet animation explores the themes of war, loss, and the enduring spirit of hope. Set against the backdrop of a bombed Syrian city, “Night” takes viewers on a poignant journey through the eyes of a mother searching for her missing child. With its stunning visuals and thought-provoking narrative, this film has garnered critical acclaim and has been showcased at numerous international film festivals.

The Story

The heart of “Night” lies in its ability to convey profound emotions through the power of visual storytelling. The film introduces us to a devastated city where the remnants of war cast a haunting shadow over its inhabitants. Amidst the ruins, a mother, voiced by the talented Hiam Abbass, desperately searches for her missing child. As she shares a story about the night, the stars above twinkle with a deceptive sense of tranquility, juxtaposing the harsh reality of their surroundings.

The film artfully portrays the pain and fatigue etched onto the faces of the families who seek refuge in the darkness. Even in their sleep, their dreams are haunted by the trauma they have endured. Above them, the spirit of the night, embodied by the character “Night” and voiced by Rafia Aridi, watches over them with a mix of empathy and detachment.

The Animation Technique

Ahmad Saleh’s choice of stop-motion and puppet animation adds a unique texture and depth to the visuals of “Night.” The characters, reminiscent of dolls, evoke both fragility and resilience. Their movements, meticulously crafted, capture the subtle nuances of disturbed sleep and restless moments. The attention to detail is evident in every frame, emphasizing the disparity between the delicate beauty of the animation and the harsh realities depicted.

Film Festivals and Awards

“Night” has received widespread recognition and acclaim on the international film festival circuit. From the prestigious Locarno Film Festival to the El Gouna Film Festival, this animated short has captivated audiences and garnered nominations for numerous awards. Its unique blend of artistry and storytelling has struck a chord with viewers and critics alike.

Here are some of the festivals where “Night” has been showcased and recognized:

  • 2023 Short Shorts & Asia Film Festival
  • 2023 Glasgow Short Film Festival
  • 2022 Chicago International Film Festival
  • 2022 Fantastic Fest
  • 2021 Torino Film Festival

The Director: Ahmad Saleh

Ahmad Saleh, a Palestinian/German writer and director, has made a significant impact in the world of animated shorts. His previous works, including “HOUSE” and “AYNY,” have garnered critical acclaim and accolades. “AYNY” even won the Student Academy Award, solidifying Saleh’s talent and creative vision.

With “Night,” Saleh continues to explore the human condition and the power of storytelling. His ability to blend intricate precision with raw emotion creates a unique cinematic experience that leaves a lasting impression on audiences.

1 Film Review

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  • “Night” is a testament to the power of animated storytelling. Through its stunning visuals, evocative narrative, and masterful animation technique, Ahmad Saleh has crafted a film that resonates deeply with viewers. From its portrayal of human resilience in the face of devastation to its exploration of the role of storytelling in healing, “Night” offers a profound and thought-provoking experience.

    As the characters navigate the ruins of their world, the film reminds us of the enduring power of hope, even in the darkest of times. “Night” serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and the universal human longing for peace.