It doesn’t happen all that often, but every once in a while a truly original short comes along; the type that reaffirms your faith in the power of film as a visual medium. Charles Cheval’s Petul is just that: a bolt from the blue that will shake cinephiles to their very core.
Clocking in at roughly fifteen minutes, Petul is told from a jerboa’s POV and has spectators experience the “extraordinary journey of a mighty rodent, in the horrible world of a human family”. With no dialogue or voiceover, this singular grown-up fable with echoes of magical realism excels at visual storytelling and capitalizes on distorted sounds to further immerse audiences into the sensory world of its rodent protagonist.
As nail-bitingly suspenseful as it is emotionally impactful, Petul stands as a strong indictment of animal cruelty and human suffering alike. A slyly embedded religious motif and knockout soundtrack enrich a viewing experience that is impossible to look away from.
Catch a first glimpse below and be on the lookout for Petul, a short that is sure to light up the fantastic film festival circuit this fall and well into 2018.