A Young Writer Discovers Iran’s Culture of Poetry in “Window Horses”

A heartfelt, charming Canadian animated feature


Many independent animated films in recent years have adopted a hand-drawn and/or collage-heavy aesthetic, but few are quite as heartfelt and charming as Ann Marie Fleming’s Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming. Rosie (voiced by Sandra Oh, also a producer of this Canadian feature) is a young Francophile of Chinese-Persian ancestry in Canada who is more than a little surprised when her self-published book of poems about France gets her invited to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. Much to the consternation of her grandparents, Rosie travels to the festival on her own, where she discovers that despite its handicap of not being France, Iran has a robust culture of poetry. The men at the festival are constantly on their phones — especially brusque German poet Dietmar (Don McKellar) — but everybody there already knows who she is, or at least knows and speaks highly of the father who abandoned Rosie’s family when she was very young.

Among the subtler pleasures of Window Horses is that while they’ve worked together in varying capacities over the years, because Canada’s film industry isn’t that big, this appears to be the first time Oh and McKellar have acted opposite each other since McKellar’s terminally underappreciated Last Night in 1998. It’s a nice reunion, and even as animated figures, their chemistry is clear.

Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming
Directed by Ann Marie Fleming
First Pond Entertainment
Opens November 10, AMC Loews 34th Street 14