Synopsis

"To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light" - Carl Jung

Musical artist White Widow narrates and orchestrates us through the classic fairy tale film Cinderella (Aschenputtel, 1922) by animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger. Delving into psychological struggles, White Widow uses shadow, light, and sound to represent Cinderella's psyche.  As Cinderella confronts her repressed self to find her inner light, the film transforms Reiniger's original silhouettes into a modern and mysterious shadow ballet.

Act 1: Beneath the Shadows 
summary

Cinderella, a servant to her Wicked Step-Mother and two Step-Sisters, hides among the shadows, invisible to the world around her. When an invitation arrives to attend the royal ball, she is quickly dismissed and degraded by her step-family and the shadows grow darker behind her. Cinderella is forced into a submissive role, and her light fades until she visits her Mother’s Tree. Here she momentarily discovers her inner light and runs with it to the ball.

Act 2: Ball of Light 
summary

Cinderella arrives at the ball, where she meets the Prince, a metaphorical character representing her potential, her passion and her freedom from darkness. As the two dance in the moonlight, they become one, but soon enough, her shadows rise up. And with the beat of the clicking clock, Cinderella runs back to hiding amongst her deepest fears. The Prince, however, is determined to find Cinderella and turn her repressed longing into a life of light.

Act 3: The March 
summary

The march to find the inner light of Cinderella begins. Her Step-Sisters try to overshadow her and steal her light. Her Wicked Step-Mother locks her up and hides her in darkness, and that is where Cinderella eventually confronts her shadow and discovers her inner light.