Salvation Has No Name": a timely stop-motion allegory on the refugee crisis in Europe

Joseph Wallace's "Salvation Has no Name," which screened in Annecy's short film competition last month, is today's Cartoon Brew Pick.

Wallace is an acclaimed animator and stop-motion specialist who burst onto the scene with his graduation short "The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling" (2011), which was nominated for a BAFTA Cymru Award. After animating the music video for Sparks' "Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)" (2017), he worked on the animation sequence for Edgar Wright's documentary The Sparks Brothers (2021) (2021), a documentary film directed by Edgar Wright.

"Salvation Has No Name" is a breathtaking allegory about xenophobia that uses fantastic elements to discuss the current refugee crisis in Europe. By setting it in a world that is both fantastical and familiar, this short story clearly conveys what it wants to say without feeling heavy-handed.

While most of the film is made in stop motion, several animation techniques are used to create a nostalgic, crisp, clean aesthetic with obvious influences from its Czech roots. The puppets are visually stunning and very distinct from one another, yet all feel as if they are part of the same world.

"Salvation Has No Name" was produced by Roland Dunn of Manchester-based DeLaval Film. Czech studio Animation People co-produced the film with French production company Autour de Minuit.