- English spoken
What goes on behind the unappealingly lit windows of an Asian nail and massage parlour? This light, vibrant and melancholy animated short will tell you.
Agua Viva tells the story of a Chinese manicurist in an American salon. The short is the solo debut of Alexa Lim Haas, who took home the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for best animated short. In hand-drawn watercolours, the main character’s daily routine unfolds, while her voice-over – in hesitant English with a thick accent – shares her intimate thought, ingrained (bad) habits and observations on her experiences with her clientele.
They reveal the desire for a place to call home, her sense of alienation, the powerlessness of somebody in a place she ended up in and for whom time glides by without any promise of change. The length of her hair symbolises the years that have passed unnoticed – first with hope and expectation, nowadays with resignation and faint homesickness.