Father And Daughter
Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
Father and Daughter won the Academy Award for Best Short Film for its Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit. For such a short (eight minutes) movie it has a remarkable capacity to move an audience. The story of a father who leaves his daughter and rows off into the ocean, it commences with two figures riding their bicycles, the smaller of the wheels in perfect symmetry with the larger. The father and daughter climb to the top of a hill at which point the father alights, hugs his daughter before climbing down to the seashore. He cannot resist running back and holding the girl one last time before rowing off towards the distant horizon. The girl runs up and down against the skyline as the sun gradually sets. There is no explanation. She returns again and again to her vantage point on the cliff to peer out to sea for his return. Each return marks a passage in her life from child to adolescent, mother and eventually old woman. And still she returns to search for the father who left her. Of course it is not literal, of course her father will never, can never, return. But still she hopes.
Life is compared to the Bicycles and its Wheels by the director of this immensely moving short, symbols of life. Everybody, during its 8 minute runtime, is on the bicycle and whenever someone leaves the bike for the boat, it means the wheels stop and hence the end of life.