“Remember me” is the result of 4 months of dedicated and almost non-stop work. As I was saying in my previous post, this is a project I hold dear especially for the theme that I’ve approached in it. As with my other big project, “A story of hope for the bullied”, it was more the sense of responsibility towards the seriousness of the subject rather than the hard work itself, that represented the greatest challenge for me. I still feel like I did not even get close to doing justice to the subject, and as much as I don’t like coming up with excuses, had I had more time and any previous experience in animating I would’ve achieved a far better result and made the message a lot clearer and cinematographically more appealing… But what’s done it’s done, I’ll do better next time :)
One of the things I have enjoyed most about working on this animation was the research part because I got to learn so much more about this particular episode of history, not just in historical facts and figures but also from a more humane point view… All the stories, letters, testimonies from the battle front and of surviving veterans that I have read and listened to have had a deep impact on me as they made me realize just how wrong our perspective of war is, not just WWII, but war in general. Like I was saying in my previous post – There is nothing glorious about war… On both sides and in every battle it is humans not numbers that die. On both sides there are fathers, husbands and brothers longing for their homes, hoping to make it back alive. War is not as simple as it is being portrayed by Hollywood. It is not black and white, good versus evil, Elves versus Orcs, Jedis versus Stormtroopers… Allies versus the Axis.
It saddens me deeply to think that those men, our soldiers, my country’s soldiers in particular (“Remember me” shows the story of a Romanian soldier), who fought bravely with whatever poor ammunition they had, who went through unimaginable horrors on the Eastern Front, are now just ghosts of the past, their value is not rightfully appreciated, their stories are not enough told to the young generations and those 50 years of communism have killed them not just physically (many Romanian soldiers and war prisoners that fought on the Eastern Front, upon coming back home were sent to prison, many died there or came out mutilated after decades of imprisonment) but also spiritually because it has thrown them into a black hole of oblivion… It is history’s duty to decide weather or not the Romanian army was right to fight beyond its own borders, weather it was a great loser or a great fighter, but it is our duty to remember those who fought and perished. We must not belittle their efforts because through the prism of military grandeur they are not worthy of attention, but respect their sacrifice for us, their pain and longing for home, their commitment and courage. We owe it to them to remember their stories…
Romanian soldiers. 1940
Romanian soldier at -35 degrees Celsius. Prut, 1940
POWs at Stalingrad
Romanian POWs – Battle of Stalingrad
Romanian and German POWs at Stalingrad, 1943
This images have been taken off various online blogs and history forums.