Animation is an essential aspect of LISTOPAD. The character Ondrej is based in part upon Slovak animator Ondrej Rudavsky, who is the animation director for the film. Throughout the film, the fictional Ondrej, who does not talk, communicates his thoughts, hopes and fears through his drawings, which unfold with a unique surreal perspective. Ondrej's non-verbal creativity was one of the few ways a person living in Czechoslovakia prior to the Velvet Revolution could be expressive, as the Communist government imposed strict censorship, silencing people in all aspects of their lives. Ondrej's animations, created by Rudavsky, are frightening, brilliant, entertaining and always memorable. They create within the film a sense of place, time and emotion that is difficult to create in any other language.
Griffin and Rudavsky collaborated on the documentary film Come Brother We Go To America (1992). The film chronicles Ondrej and his sister Zuzana's work and life as young emigres in the United States. Below are clips from the film showing Rudavsky's work from the 1989 era.
COME BROTHER, WE GO TO AMERICA (Excerpt).
Directed by Gary Keith Griffin | Color, 52 minutes, 1989