A surprisingly good-looking and well-crafted short film.

by Martin Hafer

I was astounded by the French language short film Orphyr, because this was the first film that Jonathan Degrelle ever wrote or directed. And yet, its production values are rather amazing and it looks extremely well crafted–with lovely music, great cinematography and some clever graphics. I’m not sure how much it cost to make, but it certainly appeared to have a large budget–which is unusual for a newbie to the world of cinema.

Written & Directed by
Jonathan Degrelle
Corinne Masiero, St├ęphane Ropa
Release Date
Martin’s Grade: A-

As for the plot, it’s very strange and it helped that I was already familiar with the Jacques Demy film Donkey Skin. This is because in both this film and Orphyr, they have a very similar and very bizarre plot element–a donkey that can poop gold!

And, before you start thinking that these filmmakers were on drugs, this idea was actually written down by Charles Perrault–a man who wrote down many of the famous French folk tales back in the late 17th century. So, the same guy who first recorded the story of Cinderella, also brought us the gold pooping ass!
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Here’s how the strange but charming film goes: There was a drunk named Orphyr. Despite not mounting to much in life, he was a thoroughly decent man. So, when he was thrown out of his apartment by the land lady, Orphyr gave what little money he had to a hungry little girl.

This act of kindness was repaid immediately, as the girl was actually the magical “Green Lady.” She was so touched by his generosity that she gave Orphyr this magical donkey! But, being a very decent and trusting man, the magical beast was soon stolen by the wicked landlady and her husband.

So what’s next? Well, I’ll at least let you know that it involves more gifts from the Green Lady–though none of the other gifts involved poop! To find out more about this strange and magical tale, see this charming film for yourself.

If you want to see Orphyr then you can watch the English subtitled version for free right here. Enjoy!