February 10, 2022 by pearsonkl
In this GIF from the movie I am an Elephant, Madame, a classical styled painting is being covered up by red spray paint. The person painting over the painting is actually the main character, Rull. Throughout the movie, Rull demonstrates his grievances with the authoritarian nature of his high school through both small and more grandiose acts of rebellion.
The montage at the beginning of Rull painting his room red stands for Rull’s intentions of changing the world around him. He is unhappy with what he sees going on around him and what he is experiencing at school. He wants to make his mark on the world. Specifically, the inclusion of the classical painting symbolizes the traditional Germany along with its authoritarian and Nazi-influenced past. The painting being covered by the red paint symbolizes Rull’s efforts to block out and define what his generation will consider part of the future of Germany and what should be left in the past with the older generations.