Mynarski Death Plummet is a short about Andrew Mynarski, a Canadian Airforce soldier in WWII, who was posthumously awarded the Victorian Cross for sacrificing himself in the attempt to save his fellow soldiers. Not only is Mynarski Death Plummet a touching dramatization of events, it is also a visual coup de force concerning filmic techniques on celluloid.The story of Andrew Mynarski is one of an unfortunate planecrash in the aftermath of D-Day. While carrying out a mission above France, Mynarski’s plane was fired upon by German Junkers and consequently suffered a hydraulic fire on board. This forced the commander of the plane to issue bailing out. In the end Mynarski stayed trying to save rear gunner Pat Brophy and crawled through the flames and back, failing in his attempt. After finally bailing out, however, his clothes on fire, he landed severely burned and later died of his injuries. Miraculously, Pat Brophy survived the subsequent crash, was interred by Germans and only after liberation in 1945 was he able to relay the heroic story of Mynarski, whereafter Mynarski was awarded the Victorian Cross as last after WWII.
This short is very special on another level in that it is made with techniques that date back to the start of film and the experimental ideas of filmmakers at the start of the last century. Avant-garde animation techniques (including stop-motion, silhouettes, bleaching, scratching, hand-painting and rubbing letratone patterns directly on the celluloid) combined with classical melodrama make for a fitting 40’s feel to the film, while at the same time making it a jarring experience with a bombardment of colours and effects.