Within a busy working life, Copi is a father who is trying to teach the right way to live to his son, Paste. But… what is really right?
HOW HAPPY WE FEEL
> One of the more poignant themes in your short film is the oppressiveness of monotonous work. What is it that made you be concerned with this?
For us, monotony was but an excuse for the development of the story – which is to say that we used the context of monotony to contextualize what was important for us, which really was this message of focusing on what’s around us and paying attention to the people that we really care about. There’s also a critique about how little we generally care for the creative development of children.
Speaking personally, being creatives ourselves has obviously driven us to reject monotony and other processes of this kind that could worsen our creative processes. This fear can be surely traced in “Alike”, as well as any other stories that we’ve done other the years.
> The protagonists in your short seem to take refuge in each other against the numbness of society. Do you think of this to be a good solution?
Rather than a solution, we think that it should be a fundamental pillar of the education and development of any human being. In the short film we can see that the father uses his child as a way to escape from his everyday problems, when the child is not the one responsible for them. There’s one point at which he realizes that fact, and that’s when he’s driven to take action.
Now, we didn’t want to “lecture” people, nor to present any kind of definite conclusions, because we think that each and every case has a different solution, and it’s not like we know them, anyway. But the change, that’s always present – the change is what’s really important, and also the realization of the need to change.
> The society that you portrayed in your short seems unfazed by the worries of the characters. Where does this alienation come from?
Well, we actually started with this idea of designing a kind of grey society of people that could be an inversion of our protagonists. We all speak at length about this concept of “good life”, and how important is to have a good job and a fat paycheck, but we rarely talk about the quality of our free time and about how happy we feel in the jobs that we take.
This debate is something that is right now on the forefront of society, and that has been very useful to us in the creation of the background of the short. In the end, we all the best for ourselves and our children, but, you know, sometimes it’s very difficult to know what “the best” is, and so we just go on mindlessly without really knowing what we’re doing.
> Your story seems to start and end at similar points, considering that their situations haven’t changed at all. Is there any hope for progress and change?
It’s important to note that the overall situation is similar, but they are not the same – and here’s the key to it all, we think. We had many problems in deciding which ending we wanted, we had many ideas in mind, like having the whole world turn colorful, etc. Some of them were very visual and aesthetically pleasing, but we realized that they were getting away from the message we were trying to convey.
Change is after all a long process, where results sometimes take a long time to be visible. Having the father realize the stems of their problems was much more important to us than an immediate resolution to their conflict. When we see that the father comprehends the situation, we can rest at ease about future situations.
We spent 5 years making this short film, and throughout the process, we had to repeat a mantra to ourselves: “your goal is not to live without trouble, but to be hopeful”. In some way, we wanted to show that it’s not the solutions themselves what can free us, but the attitude itself towards finding solutions. For us, it seems that the characters will be happier in the future, not because they won’t face any other problems, but because they will be able to overcome them.
At the time of this interview, Dani was working on a new animated short film called “Hero” about teaching, and Rafa was trying to “harmonise” working in the industry and his personal projects.