animated whaling reincarnation metaphor

Colour film, 2d animated cartoon, approx 20 minutes long, watched on British Television,  Channel 4 or BBC2, circa 1984.

Set on a planet inhabited by a hut-dwelling tribe of squat looking ‘cartoony’ creatures with large snouts, who walked on two legs. The male creatures would go out hunting, leaving the planet in a flotilla of small craft, (a bit like fishing boats) ‘rowing’ into space to hunt  large whale-like creatures, with harpoons.   Once killed, they would drag the whale creatures’ carcases back to the home planet and carve them up etc.  One day, one of the ‘tribe’ goes into a strange trance, leaves his wife, child and their hut, and walks into the forest.  His eyes turn black, and the other tribe members fear and avoid him as he unseeingly walks deeper and deeper int the undergrowth.  Finally he come to the top of a large deep hole, which he then falls down, seemingly endlessly; but as he falls, he becomes wrapped in some sort of fibre or shroud, which then turns him into a cocoon.  The cocoon keeps falling until it mutates into a one of the  ‘whale’ creatures, swimming out of the bottom of the planet into space, ‘reincarnated’ as a member of the space-creature ‘whale herd’ which the tribe hunted at the beginning.

I don’t think there’s any dialogue, and have a suspicion (but only a suspicion, mind) that it might be Japanese, made in the late 70s or early 80s.

I remember being profoundly moved by this savage, profound and metaphorical film when I watched it, and would love to find this film again or at least the title/director!

 

Many thanks

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