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Andy Smetanka’s work has ranged from creating a short segment for Guy Maddin’s My Winnepeg to ‘The Bachelor and the Bride,’ a music video for the Decemberists. For his first feature-length film, Smetanka turned to his fascination with World War I. Three years and over 250,000 individual frames in the making, And We Were Young is a stop-motion animated oral history of American soldiers in France in the last days of the Great War, performed entirely by black-paper puppets and filmed on Super 8 against translucent paper backgrounds. Brooding, brutal and hauntingly beautiful, this epic is a vision of war beyond your wildest dreams and nightmares.

Appears in: Northwest Tracking



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.