Love is just a Death Away still

‘Love is just a Death Away’ tells the lovely story of a very particular scavenger whose only purpose is the most noble of all.

Directed by: Bára Anna Stejskalová.

Country: Czech Republic.

Genre: Animated.

Running time: 11 minutes.

In our very particular era of a general need for tolerance, messages must be intelligently transmitted. This is something I don’t get tired of promoting, since I believe the most effective way to enlighten about change is to be emotionally intelligent. Through understanding about the difference of cultures, we will be able to use and promote tolerance.

Perhaps this is a much too deep theme to mention in this short film review, but it’s exactly the way I feel when a universal feeling is portrayed through a different scenario. It’s something as simple as that. Love is strange, and it comes in many forms. If you come to understand this, you will be aroused by Bára Anna Stejskalová‘s Love is just a Death Away, a short animated feature about the improbability of that which moves us.

As dirty as it may appear to be, this is one lovely film.

A twist on the stencil

In Love is just a Death Away a dying bird flutters around a trash dump. It’s agonizing while a rabid and decayed dog is chasing it. Fortunately, another dog appears and its eye pops out, scaring the other dog away. As the bird flies away and sharply hits a light post, the other realizes it’s time to be alone again. However, his body is deteriorated, almost rotten. Inside its skull a lonely worm literally pulls the strings and makes it seem alive.

This is how the isolated animal survives. Looking for any possible interaction with another living being. An encounter with a rat ends in a horrible explosion. As cockroaches appear, and begin to scavenge its “home”, the worm glances at total isolation and certain death when a machine threatens its only chance of survival.

However, something happens. In this desolate and toxic wasteland, there’s hope. And sometimes that’s all we need to keep going.

The beauty of change

Stejskalová’s film is a beautiful take on isolation and countless fairy tales about true love. This animated film is her version of the story we’ve been told multiple times, and through the wonders of stop motion, we enter into her world of absolute decay, where life seems to be impossible.

Nevertheless, Love is just a Death Away is the sweet proof of how a primal emotion finds a way without humans being present in the story. When Disney teaches us animals have human like emotions, this kind of movies go deeper into something more natural and heavy. It’s awakening to see other versions of something we already know and understand.

The format of short film works finely in animated features. The stories don’t tend to be complex, and sometimes it’s simply not necessary to overdo it. With Love is just a Death Away we get a chance to celebrate talent behind the difficulty of stop motion films, and also we get an authentic shift on the subgenre. In Love is just a Death Away everything is dead or appears to be. Everything is rotten or it’s close to be. And even in that state where we can’t acknowledge the existence of something we can relate to, a group of talented filmmakers accomplish a beautiful film.

This needs to be celebrated.


Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars

A trailer

With information from IMDB

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