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Western Animation / Blind Vaysha

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Blind Vaysha is a 2016 animated short film (eight minutes) directed by Theodore Ushev. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

It is an adaptation of a short story with the same title, by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov. In a vague setting that seems to be sometime before the Industrial Age, and somewhere in Eastern Europe, a girl named Vaysha is born. Vaysha is cursed with very strange magical eyes: her left eye sees only the future, and her right eye sees only the past. She is left in a netherworld where she is unable to see or interact with anything in her present. Can she be cured?

The animation was done in a computer-stylized version of linocut drawings.



  • Animated Adaptation: Of a short story titled "Blind Vaysha".
  • Audience Participation: At the end of the movie the narrator invites the viewer to close their right eye. A blank bright screen is shown and the narrator muses about how the movie hasn't made yet. The narrator then tells the viewer to close their left eye. A dark screen is shown and the narrator says the film has crumbled to dust.
  • Blade-of-Grass Cut: Opens with a close-up of a caterpillar's cocoon on a tree branch, and a butterfly crawling out. The duality of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly is symbolic of Vaysha seeing both the past and the future.
  • Downer Ending: No one is able to fix Vaysha's condition, and she's left living the life of a hermit in her parents' house. And the suggestion is that we see life like Vaysha does.
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  • Dramatic Thunder: A clap of thunder is followed by a bolt of lightning that splits a tree.
  • Duality Motif: Vaysha's two eyes see the past and the future but never the present. It's symbolic of most people's inability to live in the present, instead either fearing the future or yearning for the past.
  • Eye Cam: Used a few times to show Vaysha opening her eyes and seeing something, like when she is born and, as an infant, sees her mother as a child with one eye and an old crone with the other.
  • Line Boil: Done on purpose for Stylistic Suck, as Ushev said he never used the "Undo" function on his computer, thus causing Line Boil as the linocut drawings matched imperfectly.
  • Magical Eye: One eye that sees the past and one eye that sees the future.
  • Narrator: Actress Caroline Dhavernas narrates the short; there is no dialogue.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Many shots showing Vaysha's strange view of the world.
  • Split Screen: Used several times to show Vaysha seeing two things at once. Suitors approach her hoping to win her hand, but it never goes anywhere because Vaysha sees not the man who wants to go out with her, but a little boy out of one eye and an old coot out of the other. Another time she sees a butterfly cocoon out of one eye, and the mature butterfly being eaten by a frog with the other.