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Saturday, 8 February 2014

on the string of a single red balloon....

Liza Temnikova plays the character Lyubov in the Sochi Olympics
Opening Ceremony. 7 February 2014
Photo by Petr David Joseki, Associated Press.

Photo by Patrick Semansky.

When I was a kid, we were shown at school the Oscar-winning French film The Red Balloon. I don't remember much about it, except that there was little (if any) dialogue, and the red balloon seemed to be more than a prop; it was a character. It followed a little boy around in the streets of Paris.

Apparently -- though I don't remember this part -- in the end, the red balloon was attacked and destroyed, but many other balloons came to the boy, and took him on a flight over the city. Flight as an image of transcendence. 

A key image (for me) in the Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony last night was one of a small girl -- Lyubov -- who walks through many of the disparate scenes of the show, finally rising above the world on the string of a single red balloon. 

But then she lets it go.

1956 Oscar-winning short film, The Red Balloon.

For more thoughts on red balloons.... See here. Or here. Or even here.

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