Four Souls of Coyote – the animated film of 2023

Four Souls of Coyote – the animated film of 2023

"Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money“. With this phrase full of meaning, “Four Souls of Coyote”, the new animated film by Áron Gauder, begins its fascinating journey into the heart of Native American mythology.

The contemporary cinematic landscape often explores environmental issues. However, rarely do we come across a narrative that seamlessly marries cultural richness with ecological themes as this film does. Produced by Cinemon Entertainment, the 103-minute film features names such as Karin Anglin, Clé Bennett and John Eric Bentley in its cast.

The story unfolds between present and past. In the present, a group of young Native Americans gather on a mountaintop to protest the oil company that threatens their cultural and natural heritage. It is an atmosphere full of tension and resistance. But the true heart of the narrative is revealed when, under a starry sky, the wise indigenous leader tells the story of creation.

Through vivid storytelling, we learn of the Old Creator and his creation of the world, and of the crucial, yet complex, role of Coyote, an emblematic figure with four souls. His interaction with the world, with the humans he created, and with the forces of nature forms the backbone of the plot.

But it's not just a fantastic story. “Four Souls of Coyote” is a call, an awareness. The battle between Coyote and superior forces, the challenges faced by Native Americans, and their inherent connection to nature reflect humanity's contemporary struggles.

The plot resonates strongly with the great ecological concerns of our age. The themes covered - from the destruction of the Earth to the growing need to live in harmony with the environment - are universal. And despite the mythological context, the story speaks to us directly, reminding us that we are all part of a great circle of creatures and that our responsibility towards the Earth and others is immense.

Aesthetically, “Four Souls of Coyote” is a triumph. The film captivates with its extraordinary graphic representation, managing to be both simple and subtly sophisticated. The colorful and vibrant animations, backgrounds and sequences are a real treat for the eyes, offering a visual spectacle that, together with the engaging plot, makes this film an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, “Four Souls of Coyote” is a call to action, and a splendid exploration of Native American culture and their deep connection to nature. An ode to the Earth, its beauty and our place within it.

Characters

Old Creator: The great architect of the universe, gifted with the gift of dreaming. From the vision of him and a handful of mud, he brings the material world to life. Driven by a desire for beauty and harmony, his goal is to create a world in balance. However, he has a weakness: he cannot control his anger and rage. Precisely from this defect, involuntarily, his adversary, the Coyote, is born.

Coyote: The ultimate deceiver, master of the art of disorder. He was not created, but appeared in the Creator's dream. Ruled by his impulses and desires, he begins to create life in his own way, often at odds with the Old Creator's original design. This rebellious nature inevitably leads him to a clash with the Creator.

Men: The first man on Earth, born as a newborn baby and, together with the first woman, explores the world one step at a time. While he grows and makes mistakes under Coyote's influence, he ultimately finds his place in the great council of living creatures.

WOMEN: The first woman on Earth begins her life as a newborn. Always at the man's side, she proves to be the more prudent and astute of the two. Unlike her companion, she is less prone to Coyote's temptations and tends to follow more strictly the rules established by the Creator.

The duck: The first living being to populate the Great Waters, symbol of the beginning of life.

Tatanka (the buffalo): The largest and most majestic creature on the prairie, it represents strength and beauty. Its role in the world created by the Old Creator is symbolic, being a pillar of nature's harmony.

The Lightning: Created by the Old Creator in a moment of great anger, it represents the power and uncontrolled strength of nature. His birth is a clear sign of the Creator's ability to create both beauty and destruction.

Production

In the frenetic world in which we live, where nature is often overshadowed, the animated film "Four Souls of Coyote" presents itself as a bridge to a past full of wisdom. The film, created by Áron Gauder, offers a different vision of creation, where man is not the dominant creature, but one of the many wonders of nature.

Modernity, however advanced, does not always have the right answer. The growing issue of global warming and the ongoing destruction of the environment are becoming issues we can no longer ignore. While countless documentaries seek to shed light on these issues, “Four Souls of Coyote” rediscovers the profound truths that Native Americans have spoken about for centuries.

The film is not only a celebration of an oppressed and humiliated culture, but also represents a call for reflection. Through the magic of animation, Gauder tells an adventurous story that dates back to the creation of the world, where the Old Creator and Coyote bring everything that exists to life.

And the words of the natives, “As long as the grass grows,” were a symbol of eternity. They never imagined that one day this eternity could be threatened.

Áron Gauder has always had a deep affinity with Native American culture. Having grown up reading stories that, unfortunately, often did not reflect reality, he had the opportunity to really get close to this culture when he attended a Sundance ceremony in Colorado. The experience left an indelible mark on him, pushing him to want to create an animation that told the true native legends. And, unlike films like “Pocahontas”, he wanted to represent them in their authenticity.

The project, despite being born from a strong passion, was not without obstacles. The search for funding for such a delicate and profound topic was arduous. However, with the support of Réka, the film's producer, Gauder was not discouraged. He sought and found collaborations with Native Americans in Hungary and involved Native musicians and voice actors in the film's production.

“Four Souls of Coyote” is not just a film, but a message. He wants to communicate with a global audience, creating a connection and telling a different, humble and profound story about creation and existence on this planet. A story that reminds us that, despite the challenges of the present, we can always find wisdom in the ancient legends of the past.

Data Sheet

Title: Four Souls of Coyote
Regia: Áron Gauder
Country: Hungary
Year: 2023
Gender: Animation
Duration: 103 ′



Gianluigi Piludu

Author of articles, illustrator and graphic designer of the website www.cartonionline.com