The film reinterprets Hebrew Bible events from the Book of Exodus, especially stories associated with the Passover Seder, such as the death of the Egyptian first-born, and Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. The film depicts these events against a backdrop of widespread worship of the Great Mother Goddess, showing the rise of patriarchy.
Seder-Masochim is Paley's second feature film, following Sita Sings the Blues in 2008, an animated film loosely based on the Ramayana. In a similar fashion to her previous work, Paley mainly uses previously published music in Seder-Masochism, with popular and liturgical songs ranging from 1928 to 2018. She also draws from spoken voice recordings she made in 2011 with her father, Hiram Paley, who is placed in the role of the traditional Hebrew deity. Greg Sextro served as sound designer on the film.
With Theodore Gray, Paley formed PaleGray Labs to create a method for animating embroidery, which they call "embroidermation". In Seder-Masochism, embroidered animation is the basis for one scene: Chad Gadya.
Selected awards and nominations:
Nina Paley is the creator of the critically acclaimed animated musical feature film Sita Sings the Blues. Her adventures in our broken copyright system led her to join QuestionCopyright.org as Artist-in-Residence in 2008, where she produced a series of animated shorts about intellectual freedom called Minute Memes. Seder-Masochism is her second feature.
It all started with Manger, then came Singer, Oz, Keret. In the meantime, comics books, so eventually last year I edited a special issue of Miasteczko Poznań dedicated to Israeli comics. In the daylight I work as data analyst for Sentimenti doing research on emotions in Polish language. In the shadows I write reviews for a popcultural portal NieTylko Gry and try to stay in touch with Fabularie magazine.