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The Quest for Freedom
and the Longing for Belonging
Animation Short

The Quest for Freedom and the Longing for Belonging is a short animated film dealing with the constant tension and the pendulum movement between freedom and belonging.

Work on the project began with writing questions that bothered me about love and relationships, such as:
From now until the end of my life will I sleep with only one person?
What does eternity mean in the world today?
Does everyone sometimes have erotic dreams about other people?

In a capitalist society, when more and more possibilities arise, is the subversive act in point of fact to get married?

The name of the film is taken from the book "Liquid Love" by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. I felt it expressed the zeitgeist of a certain period of time.

Many of us live in a constant movement between wanting to be individuals, not dependent on anyone, not adapting ourselves to social conventions, experiencing as much as possible, accomplishing something in this life, finding a unique way to live -
And on the other hand, the desire to grow roots, dedicate oneself, fall in love, feel exclusive towards another person, establish a home, belong to a certain person, to a family, to a community,

to a society. In between the two, we experience FOMO, disappointment, excitement, and shame.


The film investigates the tension and the pendulum swing between freedom and belonging. An attempt to express two opposing worlds trying to co-exist, where one will always overcome the other in constant, endless tension.

Review by Encounters Film Festival

Written by Laura-Beth Cowley

Erotic images twist and turn as they become part of a machine-like organism, reminiscent of surrealist Salvador Dali’s erotic metamorphosis series of work in which ordinary static objects are combined into sexually charged tableaus. Elements of psychedelia feel akin to the work of Japanese animation artist Sawako Kabuki. The juxtaposition of imagery and the use of morphing organic matter with almost mechanical forms and movement creates a complex synergy with the questions posed by the director. The film explores the fluidity of relationships, how we as a society move and are parted, where we come together and intermingle.

The Quest for Freedom visualises this with strangely appealing but somewhat sterile imagery, soft curves and pastel colours reminiscent of gynaecological examination rooms or displays through which the explicit imagery is able to remain neutral in its functionality, portraying sexuality and sexual organs abstractly whilst remaining in unison with one another. This in turn creates a utopian vision of equality, openness and sensitivity. By opting to remove from the imagery representations of the singular cultural heteronormative tyranny often perpetuated in films of this kind, Paul has created a far more evocative and altogether tender vision of sexual freedom and togetherness.

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