This is a short film by the wonderful Mucky Puppets based on the tale the Grimms removed from Children's and Household Tales after the first (1812) edition.
I love the film's atmospheric silhouette puppetry, and I'm intrigued by its treatment of this very dark story (the tale can be read online here, along with a commentary by Donald Haase on using it in his teaching here).
Watching the film I couldn't help thinking of this article I read in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago. There's no shying away from the fact that this is a very upsetting subject, but then fairy tales often touch upon subjects that we'd prefer to pretend didn't exist: murder, child abuse, rape, forced marriage, incest, cannibalism, bestiality. In their simple prose, and with their refusal to engage in explicit sensationalism, they have, perhaps, always offered us a way of discussing these subjects. But from the Grimms to the present day there has been a dominant move towards the sanitisation of fairy tales for children. I can understand the desire to protect children but this leaves us with a problem—we can edit our collections of stories, but can we can't edit the world.
Thanks to Richard Mansfield for giving me permission to post the film here.
3 weeks ago