Another Day of Life, co-written and directed by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow, is a new international animated film with a unique style and approach to its story. With this movie, Nenow and de la Fuente take an already compelling story and make it even more captivating thanks to innovative storytelling.
The film tells the story of Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski as he journeys through Angola as it is ravaged by civil war, writing about his experiences in the constantly changing battle. It is always interesting to see lesser-known conflicts such as this come to life on screen, particularly through a journalistic viewpoint, as this allows audiences a greater understanding of the world and its history that they might not have otherwise been able to achieve.
However, the script of the movie takes this even one step further, telling its story so deeply rooted in humanity and emotion that it is difficult not to get invested in the story. From moment one, the audience is thrown into the story and its world which will seem foreign to most viewers, creating a sense of shock because of how different everything is. However, when one begins to process what they are experiencing, they are drawn into the world in a unique way.
The film also does an excellent job of building its subjects. As an outsider in the conflict, the audience is immediately able to identify with Kapuscinski. This is the main benefit of having a journalist as the protagonist of a war movie — since they are not a direct part of the conflict, it is much easier for the film to comment on the moral grey areas of war.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this movie is the way in which it blends animated sequences with live-action footage, both B-roll and interviews with the surviving and accessible people involved in the story. This lends the film an even greater sense of reality, immersing the audience in the story and the characters more because it feels far more personal.
The animation style of the movie is also very unique and intriguing. Visually, the style can most easily be compared to the animation of cult classic A Scanner Darkly, but perhaps even more rugged. It works phenomenally well, giving the film a personality and narrative momentum that it wouldn’t otherwise have had.
The unconventional thing about this movie, though, is the way in which the documentary footage and animation are blended together. Nenow and de la Fuente combine different sequences in a way that is challenging but thoroughly pleasing to the eye. Although some may be put off by the chaos of everything that is going on, it works very well as a whole.
Another Day of Life is an innovative war movie told through animation. Undeniably one of the best animated features of the year but sadly likely to be ignored in awards season in favor of studio fare, this film is definitely worth checking out.
Another Day of Life hits theaters on September 13.