Nighthawk is an award-winning short film about police running into a dead badger, which they try to clear off the road until they realise it’s just drunk. Via Short of the Week:
Drunkenness can be at once comic and tragic, and both moods are encompassed in this freaky, freewheeling animated short. Spela Cadez’s Nighthawk is, in the simplest terms, a cautionary tale about the misery of alcoholism. But the boozer in question is a badger, his poison a bunch of rotten pears, his night on the town more of a road trip into nightmarish abstraction.
The film opens on a surreal scene that Cadez and her screenwriter Gregor Zorc lifted from a news report. By the roadside, two policeman encounter a badger inebriated on fermented fruit. The true-story element ends there, as the bleary-eyed mammal commandeers their vehicle and embarks on a bumpy ride down dark country roads.
The rest is a study in minimalism. The badger eats more pears and gets drunker. Like Tom Hardy’s Locke, he growls defensive non-sequiturs at an imaginary passenger: “Think it’s easy for me?” The lights and markings on the road start to blur and dance to the funky music on the radio, recalling the colourful experiments of early animators like Len Lye. Cadez and Zorc are bold enough not to load the film with didactic dialogue and plot turns. Essentially, Nighthawk is a portrait of the bleak, progressive confusion that comes with too much alcohol.