The Heart of the World
The short film, “The Heart of the World” is without doubt a masterpiece. The film is short only in the sense that it runs for only 6 minutes. However, in terms of substance and content, it is a full-length movie for all intents and purposes. It carries a rich plot which is elaborately played out. It is amazing how Maddin was able to sew together all the scenes into a six-minute film.
There were a lot of things that happened within the span of six minutes but for me, the scenes that left its mark are those towards the end when Anna killed Akmatov. The scene is loaded with symbolisms and carries a strong political statement. But before I go to that specific scene, there is a need to at least describe the preceding scenes to set the premise and provide a holistic review of that specific segment of the film.
The scene starts with the title honeymoon which implies that Akmatov succeeded in seducing Anna with his money and the two got married. Anna, dressed in white with a band of flowers around her head was shown smiling as she beckons someone to her side. Anna was lying on her back on what looked like a couch or a bed filled with pillows. This was followed by the shadow imagery showing a man flirting with a woman. The man was trying to tickle the woman with his playful fingers. The close up shot of Akmatov reveals the identity of the man who was with Anna.
After their foreplay, Akmatov dove into Anna’s bosom. The scenes that followed showed a cannon barrel firing several shots, a woman who fell flat on her face and a close up shot of Akmatov wiping his mouth in sheer satisfaction. This series of frames depicts consummated sexual intercourse between Anna and Akmatov. The cannon barrel represents the dominant male sex while the fallen woman represents the submissive female sex. The picture of Akmatov wiping his mouth represents sexual satisfaction and satiation.
After their honeymoon, Anna remembered her duty to save the world. But she...