Caught between semi-gods and mass madness, in a world of propaganda images, surrealist collage and pop-art animation, Lei’s family struggle to live through China’s tumultuous times of the 1950s and 1960s. Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish is an ode to family, memory, reconstruction of family history in the history of China.
"Nayola is essentially a road movie and involves many graphic universes. One of the most interesting things in a road movie is to journey through different landscapes. This also enabled each of the coproducers, who to date have concentrated on animation shorts, to bring their own vision to the film. Some scenes are more impressionistic, others are more realistic and monochromatic. I’ve always felt that the film would need to have a visual style that blends elements of reality and fantasy.
From the outset I wanted to explore a very expressionistic style based on my experiences in Angola, where you feel a presence of intense colors, such as the red earth, or the blood-red sunsets and the powerful aromas. The local people live in close contact with nature. They may see a tree or a stone and see the continuation of someone who has died. In the West, dreams are clearly separated from reality, but in Africa they are interlinked. This duality is particularly evident during times of war – as we are seeing now in Ukraine. Lives are suddenly upended. You can enter a house or a kitchen that has been frozen and abandoned. This creates a kind of altered fantasy space that I wanted to explore in this film.
- José Miguel Ribeiro