A Chinese-Persian woman from Vancouver learns about her culture while attending a poetry festival in Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming). Rosie Ming (Sandra Oh) is an aspiring poet of Chinese and Persian decent, who lives with her overprotective grandparents in Vancouver. Rosie is invited to attend a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, which she decides to attend despite knowing very little about her Persian heritage. While in Iran, Rosie learns more about the culture, as well as possible answers to why Rosie’s father abandoned her as a child.
From animator Ann Marie Fleming (The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam) comes this story about discovering one’s cultural identity. Rosie Ming grew up believing that her father abandoned her and, after the tragic death of her mother, she is left in the care of her grandparents. When she is not working in a fast food restaurant with her friend Kelly (Ellen Page), Rosie dreams of being a poet and travelling to Paris. When she receives the invite to the festival in Iran, it is the opportunity for her to learn the Persian culture she has never been able to connect with.
Window Horses has a very interesting visual style, where all the characters have very exaggerated features. The only exception is the lead character of Rosie Ming, who is presented as little more than a stick figure, which suggests the conflict she has with her cultural identity. While in Iran, she is surprised to find out how well-known her father is and she learns backstory that she was never aware about. Altogether, Window Horses is a striking search for one’s identity.