Blood Tea and Red String

Paul R. Potts

I really need to watch this film again. I have not seen it since 2008 and so can’t verify what I think of it today. I’d like to watch it back-to-back with Mirrormask and compare the two films.


This is one of the most fascinating movies I’ve ever seen. It’s about an hour long, has no spoken dialog whatsoever, and was made for to nothing by a woman who started shooting scenes before she had a clear sense of how the whole thing fit together.

But it has some of the most amazing, detailed, stop-motion animation I’ve ever seen. The action and the story is right out of the unconscious mind. The sets are built by hand from found objects and the puppets are dingy and threadbare, making it serve as an amazing antidote for the slickness of modern computer animation; it feels real.

It’s billed for adults, but it’s not rated. It’s not terribly violent, and some of the imagery is a bit disturbing, but it’s not presented in a gratuitous manner. My daughter Veronica, age 3, even wanted to watch it a second time. So we did. It isn’t nightmare material, just surreal and dreamlike and occasionally grotesque.

Imagine: Christiane Cegavske worked on it for years and years; on a “good day” she might complete ten seconds of film.

This film is one of the few films that we might put in our permanent collection. I highly recommend it.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
April 11, 2008

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