The Tragic Story of Nling: A Review

An animated movie made in 2006 by Jeffrey St. Jules, The Tragic Story of Nling is a film about suffering and living in struggle.

This movie tells the sad story of a city called Capillia. In the beginning, we see  quotes about respecting donkeys. Then the film starts, showing a man explaining how he resorted to cannibalism and filling in the back story. Capillia, suffering from unemployment and overflowing garbage, isolated its poor within a walled area named Nling where they were expected to live on the city’s discards. They were also given alcohol to keep them in their place.

The narrator, August and his donkey friend (named Donkey), who was once his teacher, are the last surviving residents of  Nling after the stuff stops coming.  They start throwing up and realize they have to leave Nling. Donkey tells August of an entrance to a tunnel that takes them out.

After bringing down a load bearing brick wall the two meet a moustachioed stranger who tells them that the island outside of the wall has been abandoned. The man himself is a convicted criminal who stores a lot of alcohol under a pile of rubble. Later that night, the two devour the man and build a raft out of building parts to get them off the island. August starts to get fed up with Donkey and jealous of the fact he has so much alcohol within him.

The ending starts out sad and then gets slightly awkward, but it’s a very interesting concept. While the animation isn’t top notch, it helps add to the retro effect.

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