In the beginning was metamorphosis. This paradoxical thought, which the ancient Roman poet Ovidius and modern author Franz Kafka represented in their literary works, is visualized in Koji Yamamura’s short animation Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor.
Diverse metamorphoses that do and do not appear in the Kafka original are so elaborately and dynamically depicted in this animation that no live-action film could possibly represent them. In addition, the film itself can be seen as a metamorphosis, as it is an animation converted from a short story. Such a dominance of metamorphosis is also true for the transculturality and transnationalism of Yamamura’s animation. In a sense, the film results from a cultural integration of foreign language and image. However, this integration is also part of the swirl of metamorphosis. The traditional performance art Kyogen, which the director uses to voice the main characters in the animation, could not integrate foreign culture without its own diversification. Yamamura’s animation demonstrates that transculturality is another name for fundamental metamorphosis in which diversification and integration occur simultaneously.
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