Many thanks to Stefano Maria Baratti for his wonderful review of "HOBLIO - The Path to Freedom", my latest animated short.
As in a Japanese Haiku (a short form of poetry), Piero Tonin's "Hoblio: The Path to Freedom" features an engaging and persuasive character, a pilgrim who sets off on a 7-minute journey that ultimately can be interpreted as a universal and timeless rite of passage and initiation, an image carrying medieval connotions and bound to a seemingly sacred location, or as an internal, spiritual experience.
As the pilgrim's progress advances from a cycle of darkness to light (and back to darkness), the size of his satchel (his material belongings) becomes lighter and lighter, until it completely disappears in a state of personal revelation and bliss.
Tonin introduces his animation with a quote from Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), whose message maintained that self-realization is yoga or "oneness" with truth, the direct perception or experience by the all-knowing intuitive faculty of the soul.
The pilgrim encounters four characters along his journey, representing desire and fear: 1) desire for money/material goods; 2) desire for animal lust/sex; 3) desire for earthly power/kingship; and 4) fear of death. Transcending all these obstacles, and denying their influence, the pilgrim finally obtains complete freedom from the sufferings inherent in the repeated cycles of birth and death.
The narration is linear, as in Vladimir Propp's "Morphology of the Folktale," following both "diachrionic" (the high and lows of a story), and "synchronic" (the pattern of a cycle) modes of storytelling.
The style is impeccably Piero Tonin's spotless signature artwork, in the tradition of Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli, creator of "La Linea," a simply drawn cartoon born and lived out of a single white pencil stroke.
Stefano Maria Baratti
Watch "HOBLIO - The Path to Freedom" on my YouTube channel.