After a long time spent admiring the teaser trailer, teased I was- and although my usual preference is the pursuit of stop motion and all its time consuming magic, I was all too happy to make an exception here, for an obviously equally time consuming and magical venture.
‘Feral’, the 2012 short film by Daniel Sousa, is the silent tale of a phenomenon known as ‘Mowgli Syndrome’, cases that involve a child, usually of a very young age, for whatever reason (typically neglect) being adopted by animals and raised as wild, or ‘Feral’.
The little boy in this story is taken from the group of wolves who raised him by a well meaning hunter, and reintroduced to society, under who’s scornful eyes, he struggles to thrive, eventually breaking free and returning to the safety of his familiar woods.
It could be seen as a comment on the cruelty of children or the misplaced charity of those who mean well, but was a short that left enough to the imagination for me to think on it, over and over for the next few days, watching and re-watching whenever I could.
Having read about a case of a little girl found in the woods near a village, I remembered that her captors were never quite able to take the wild from her, despite taking her from the wild, and she died at a young age, after only a few years in the company of people, and having learnt very few words and some sign language.
The shifting images at the end of ‘Feral’ and the destruction of the symbolic windmill, lead me to wonder whether this little boy did actually escape, or whether he too perished in the grip of society, as is typical for wild children to do once captured.
Although ”wild children/ men” are not a very common occurrence today, there are some famous cases recorded in history. The traits these children pick up under the parentage of animals are bizarre, but equally amazing- it could be said that humans, in the company of other humans, are devolving..
Food for thought.
‘Feral’ was wonderful to watch and wonder at, trying to discern what the ending meant, I would urge others to watch it too, if time allows!