Cycles

A hand-drawn and painted animation exploring mental illness through mythological imagery.

A rabbit lady, the moon, an egg and a snake combine to create an endless story of death and rebirth.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Kathleen Bergen

Filmmaker’s statement

Cycles was an intensely personal project. Every part of it was competed in seven short months for my bachelor of fine arts honours project: the concept, the 300 hand-painted frames, the sound, and the editing. 

I have always been fascinated by the enduring nature of stories. Myths and fairy tales are of special interest to me. I love the way that they are told and retold over and over, changing slightly with each retelling.

My experience of mental illness has been very similar: the same problems faced again and again, each time dealing with them a little bit more effectively.

In this project I channelled my experiences with mental illness through the lens of mythology. I felt that traditional animation was an ideal format – pages and pages of drawings, each one changing only slightly, which together make a moving whole. 

This animation can be looped infinitely, so the experience can last as long as the viewer is comfortable. 

About Kathleen Bergen

Kathleen Bergen

Kathleen graduated with a BFA honours from the University of Manitoba in spring of 2016. Cycles is her first major film.

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