Meryem Lahlou’s short film Bare Bones is a magnificent piece of experimental cinema. It’s a visual masterpiece that in a mere 10 minutes makes the the viewer contemplate the meaning of their own existence. The film begs the question: who are we when we all share the same face? Stripped of everything that gives us our individuality, what kind of existence would that be? In this 3D animated short, we see homogenous creatures in motion, moving about in minimalist spaces. A disembodied voice dissects the human experience.
The filmmaker was inspired to tell a story about identity. In her director’s statement Meryem Lahlou writes
“I chose to put humanity in a hostile and extreme context, where the earth has lost its abundance, where plastic is the most available resource, where the collective consciousness is reduced to survival.”
This film gave me serious Fritz Lang vibes. I couldn’t help but think of Destiny (1921) and Metropolis (1927). The visuals in Bare Bones are absolutely stunning. Watch it once as a meditation and a second time as art.
Bare Bones was screened as part of the virtual 2021 Slamdance Film Festival. Learn more about the film here.