A spotlight shines on a two-tiered circular platform.
Two museum workers roll a crate on the hallway. They open it and set up the soldier next to the Eskimo and astronaut. They clean his suit with a lint brush and place his hat on his head. They arrange his hand at a salute.
Julian Casablancas sits behind the platform and stands in the slate blue light.
Next, the museum workers move a prairie woman across the soldier. The soldier and prarie woman stare at one another. A worker fixes her arm and brushes off some dust. In the afternoon, a family passes by and views the wax figures. A little girl an arrow from her small hunting bow at the prarie woman, alarming the soldier.
Standing underneath a cobalt spotlight, the soldier and prairie woman stare at one another. They return back to their places in the morning. The soldier lowers his hand. The astronaut and Eskimo are hauled away by the workers. The prarie woman watches as they take the soldier away.
The workers place him in a wooden crate in the basement. The soldier views the faded paintings and chipped sculptures on various shelves. The door closes and the worker shuts off the lights. Several sparks start a fire. The soldier watches as the other figures burn.
His leg melted off, the soldier falls onto the floor. The fire’s tentacles reach the first floor. Some wood breaks his neck. The prairie woman lands on the floor next to him. While their faces liquify, he touches her fingers.
Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairtyale, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” a wax figure of a soldier is displayed in a museum alongside a prairie woman. The soldier, long alienated from his previous life, finds comfort in the prarie woman across from him. With her patient eyes, she understands the rigidity and standards one must abide in order to live.
Together, they listen as the tour guides discuss the history behind themselves and view the students giggle at their costumes. However, the humans believe they are disposable and replace them for the slightest flaw. Both of have seen dozens of figures come and go. They never come back. The soldier and the prairie woman wait, knowing at any moment one of them will leave. Meanwhile, he watches in horror as children hit the prarie woman and the adults snicker at her prim expression. “She must’ve been a prude back in her time,” they comment and he snarls inside.
The worker describes the soldier’s arm as broken. It has been determined that the light weakened his figure and he can no longer be displayed. They take him away, saying a new set will arrive over the weekend. They complain about the overtime, stating they will have to cancel their plans.
Faulty wiring destroyed the museum. However, as they melted together, he was glad to have the prairie woman with him. She was his angel and source of strength to get him through the days of standing still.
Director: Warren Fu Year: 2013
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