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In 1893, French artist Paul Gaugin painted the controversial portrait of Annah la Javanaise. To some, it represents a foundational example of post-impressionist art, and to others, it offers an undeniable portrait of Western colonialism. In this short, animated film, scholar and artist Fatimah Tobing Rony (dir. ON CANNIBALISM) reimagines the life of this 13-year-old Javanese girl who was sold by her family to the famous French painter.


By reframing the perspective of the painting, the film presents the stark reality and untold story of this young girl’s experience as a trafficked maid and model from Java. The simple and colorful visuals used to tell this story embody a child’s eye and strike a balance between the subject matter and serious themes of exploitation.

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    6 minutes
  • Language
    French, Javanese
  • Country
    South Asia, India
  • Director
    Fatimah Tobing Rony
  • Animator
    Victor Ariel
  • Composer
    Aghi Narottama
  • Sound Design
    Aghi Narottama