Urška Djukić and Émilie Pigeard’s Granny’s Sexual Life, one of the highest-profile European animated shorts of the last several years, is now available to stream online.
The film is based on the anonymous testimonials gathered in Milena Miklavčič’s book “Don’t Play With Fire, Ass, and Snakes.” In the film, four elderly women reflect on memories of the old days when they were young and treated as little more than objects by abusive and uncaring husbands.
Granny’s Sexual Life is a patchwork of individual stories, but its narrative is focused and clear. Using simple and uniform drawings throughout – there is only one character design used for all adult male characters in the film, the directors’ aesthetic choices serve to emphasize the universal nature of the abuse suffered by the women sharing their stories.
Although the film’s animation is fun its themes are serious, including issues such as domestic violence and spousal rape. However, like the book on which its based, Granny’s Sexual Life treats the darker parts of its narrative with the levity they deserve. The acts are only shown by using visual metaphors rather than literal representations. Where many films use inanimate objects to represent R-rated parts of human anatomy, Granny’s Sexual Life does the opposite, with phalluses wielded as weapons and women’s bodies used as buildings for their husbands to enter and exit of their own accord.
Granny’s Sexual Life was produced by Studio Virc in Slovenia and Ikki Films in France with backing from ARTE television along with CNC and Ciclic Animation Residency. The film had a tremendous festival run, screening at leading events such as Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, and Tallinn Black Nights. It won the French Academy César Award for best animated short and the European Film Award for best European short along with numerous other prizes at international events such as Animateka, Slovene Film Festival, and Uppsala.