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The Globe and Mail

Window Horses: A colourful story of emotional growth, family melodrama

In Window Horses, a mixed-race character from Vancouver is invited to read at an Iranian poetry festival, a story conceived by filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming almost a decade ago and is now being premiered in North America.

3 out of 4 stars

Window Horses
Written by
Ann Marie Fleming
Directed by
Ann Marie Fleming
Sandra Oh and Don McKellar

In Window Horses, animator Ann Marie Fleming casts her recurring Stick Girl character as Rosie Ming, a tender Chinese-Canadian poet with one slim volume to her credit. The stick figure with a pink beret feels overwhelmed by the invitation to read her work at a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran – and by the personal quest that takes her to the homeland of a father who abandoned her when she was a child. In the film's finest moments, as a generous Iranian host explains traditional Farsi poetry, the animation and the themes mingle and explode in a riot of cross-cultural colour as the stringy Canadian cartoon meets gorgeously rendered illustrations – and personifications – of Persian traditions. Elsewhere, the film, energetically voiced by a star-studded cast that includes Sandra Oh as Rosie and Don McKellar as an obnoxious German poet, charts a less engaging if highly individual story of emotional growth and family melodrama.

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