Drawn from Memory

Director: Paul Fierlinger
Screenwriters: Paul Fierlinger

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Paul Fierlinger concentrates his considerable talents as an animator to recount—through fragmented memories, vivid recollections, and the occasional evocative photograph—his life as the rebellious son of Jan Fierlinger, a Czechoslovakian career politician.

At the outbreak of World War II, Fierlinger and his family became war refugees in the United States, where the young Paul, bouncing between foster homes so that he did not disturb his politically involved parents, grew up an American boy. After the war, his father was installed as a senior official in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, and Paul was plucked from the world he knew and dumped into the chilly reality of postwar Prague. As he grew older, his political sensibilities began to differ radically from his father’s.

Using old-fashioned cel animation with watercolor backgrounds and charcoal and pencil sketches to recreate a historical era, Fierlinger evokes what are clearly lasting images from his childhood. Drawn from Memory is at times a touching memoir and at others a sincere effort to deal with painful recollections, and it never fails to stimulate the senses with its sheer artistry.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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