Anyone is a moth looking for a light, a light that can be knowledge or truth. But this light burns the insect’s wings – however, the moth will die happy knowing that it has seen the intensity of the flame even for a few moments. This fable about the desire of people to overcome their condition, at the risk of their own lives, is the pretext from which the short animation ‘Moth‘ starts. But Jiaze Li doesn’t construct his project in a rigid philosophical way, but through a sci-fi interface which, although it avoids any dialogue intervention, is expressive enough to address a wide audience. The animation gives us a brief foray into a somewhat post-apocalyptic world, a world in ruins, populated by giant predators who hunt the few survivors trying to get out the narrow circle of this daily ordeal. The narrative is straightforward, devoid of unnecessary ostentation, but the dynamism of the image and the coherence of the fictional universe are compelling and professionally constructed. The director’s style has some of the rough outlines and oppressive atmosphere of a project like “Waltz with Bashir”, but the colour palette is contrasting, sometimes vibrant in its many shades of red and orange, in tandem with the dose of adrenaline the viewer takes. This against-time sensation is supported by instrumental music with electro inflexions, to which a suite of sound effects that give volume to the space is added.

 

Jiaze Li proves through this project not only his talent as an animator, but also his sensitivity and intuition as a reader of sci-fi novels whose excellent quality does not necessarily consist in the spectacular technology, types of machinery, or species they describe, but in the profound, humane message about the nature of individuals. From this point of view, ‘Moth’ is, beyond an alert, well-constructed and well-conducted cinematic experience, an animation that talks about the struggle of each of us with everyday reality to find that ray of light that will give us a purpose. We do not really know how harmful the light we are desperately looking for will be to us. But like the moth, we must be happy that we dared to get closer to it than we should have.

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