Daughter (Stab in the Daddy Heart by Daria Kashcheeva)


Here’s one that stabs deep in the daddy heart. I love Eastern European animation. These days everyone’s about anime, and I get it, but before Japan came Eastern Europe. The Czech animation machine was legendary. Old Czech Legends (1953) or Fantastic Planet (1973, lol some people think it’s French), being two choice cuts. Since that time such regional animation has sunk more into art-house obscurity, which is sad for the medium, but good for us underground wormkin who live off of the dark. Daughter, however, has gotten some pretty solid press, like a recent Oscar nomination, as much as it pains me to mention ugh (shudder), American film awards, but hey, that’s cool, because then this one can stab a wider audience in the heart, if, that is, they take the time to get it. As usual, experimentation makes provincials upset so it seems this isn’t the entirely the case, but it’s not the director’s fault, it’s yours you scum.


Directed by Daria Kashcheeva, Daughter is an abstracted tale without words grounded in a father-daughter relationship. Without blowing the plot, the primary ideas are forgiveness, miscommunication, and how a single moment in a child’s life can impact their personal growth and development over the course of a lifetime. Kashcheeva’s innovative usage of handcrafted, papier-mâché puppets filmed using a handcam for an impressively real, quasi-documentary style, makes the surreal quality of the storytelling deliver its message with human immediacy. In these days when experimental style is often too remote for some (just look up some idiotic user reviews of Daughter), it’s promising to see the old Czech mastery is still there for those of us who understand, but the average viewer is still stuck in “CalArts,” “Pixar,” “woke,” and “touching” animation to probably get it.


Daughter Official Facebook

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Daughter (2019)
Daria Kashcheeva (director)MAUR film, Miyu Distribution (distributors)
4.8 / 5