We already know that the expressiveness and sensitivity of animations can exceed the impact of a conventional film. Pedro de la Llave, at least, seems to be aware of this aspect, and his project is a proof that the simplicity, the minimalism and suggestiveness that only the cinematic language of animation can confer is one of the most effective tools to communicate. Thus, his short film, ‘Behind the Glass‘, apparently doesn’t impress with its visual formula. On the contrary, this fictional universe is constructed using simple forms, a limited chromatic palette, no dialogue and a linear narrative stake. But beyond these defining features, the project actually offers us a coherent and powerful metaphor for interpersonal relationships compromised by all forms of addiction, especially drugs. The glass becomes here a symbol of isolation, of a seclusion fed by illusory prospects, whose “transparency” allows the protagonist to take a look at the world outside, while preventing them from being an active part of it.


In fact, Pedro de la Llave constructs this short film by opposing two universes through two contrasting kinetics, supported by an instrumental music whose tempo harmoniously reflects the evolution of the character. The inner, self-sufficient protagonist’s world seen as a transparent prison like the inside of a syringe is illustrated in opposition to the dynamic outside, which assists indifferently to the degradation of victims that are captive in their own dreams. Perhaps the narrative consistency of the short film doesn’t go far beyond the pattern of a “warning clip”, and this could be seen by some viewers as a big minus. However, the impressive trait of this animation is precisely the suggestiveness of a minimalist formula that, without proposing totally original solutions at any cost, manages to speak honestly about an identifiable reality. ‘Behind the Glass’ doesn’t fall into that category of animations that want to amaze by breaking all the rules, but to embrace simplicity as the most effective way to expose a universal truth. And maybe because of this, it can be appreciated by any viewer, regardless of their tastes and expectations.