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DUST KID (JOUNG Yumi 2009)

Reviewed by Joni MÄNNISTÖ

Dust Kid provides us with beautifully drawn detailed pencil backgrounds and an original style of animating the movement. It's a simple story with a nice cozy mood presenting a metaphorical character of which I'm sure people can make their own interpretation. A girl called Eujin stays in bed until late and finds dust in the form of a small kid sleeping under the sheets. She decides to clean up her flat. She shakes out the sheets at the window and gets rid of the dust.

But when she wipes the floor under the bed she meets the dust kid again. Time after time she cleans away the dust kid but she keeps always appearing at the next place Eujin is about to clean, whether she's organizing the objects on the table, washing the dishes or cleaning up the floor drain. Once she has cleaned up the whole flat the dust kid appears one more time. This time on top of her rice bowl to eat some supper. Eujin is about to throw her away but when their eyes meet Eujin decides to leave the dust kid be and have another bowl of rice for herself.

The dust kid is a small version of Eujin. In the beginning of the film Eujin wakes up but the dust kid still wants to stay in bed. May
be a part of Eujin still wants to stay in bed too because they're one and the same person. Every ball of dust you find from your home is a trail of yourself. When she finds herself still sleeping in the bed she decides to shape up a little bit and starts cleaning the house. Everywhere she cleans and behind every object she touches she finds the dust kid, a trail of herself, the most concrete being the pile of hair from the floor drain. At the end Eujin realizes that some things just have to be accepted. No matter how much you clean the dust keeps coming back.

Dust Kid is a well made presentation of ordinary people living alone and spending the evening at home making their chores. With lots of small interesting details and great timing director Joung Yumi turns a dull chore like cleaning the house to be something much more.

Joni MÄNNISTÖ is a Finnish animation director and animator specialized mainly in traditional animation techniques. After graduating he joined two animation collectives Paperihattu and Anikistit.

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