Bettina Barillas March 19 2018

Down the rabbit hole: Four short films through the space-time continuum


From the beginning of recorded history, humans have attempted to control time. From prehistoric cavemen capturing the thrill of a recent hunt in an attempt to relive and enshrine a moment to androids dreaming of electric sheep, we romanticize the past and aggrandize the future all in efforts to avoid our present. In this spotlight, we visit three films from the March issue of Labocine where the characters travel to the past and future in attempts to better understand their present.


A grieving father goes back in time to give his son a lifesaving vaccine, but by saving his young son’s life, he loses his own.

Much like Queen’s astronaut who returns to Earth in the year 1939 after travelling the Milky Way, ## finds his world ‘old and gray’ after a trip to the past to save his son’s life. Without giving away too much of the plot, the film itself is a powerful narrative on the butterfly effect—and not the Ashton Kutcher movie. ##’s decision to alter his past, small changes (i.e. giving his son a vaccine invented in the future) profoundly impacts his present-day life and he returns to a present where he has gained the life of his son, but lost that of his loved ones.



A young woman confronts the wounds of her past self through the help of psychotherapy.

All people carry their past. In the case of Anais, her childhood traumas come to life when she looks into a mirror. Her present-day self has little patience for her past self and its deep wounds and cries of loneliness. She fights her past to avoid hearing the voices of her former self crying for help. Through the support of a therapist, she engages her past self and finds healing.

An uplifting short animation about the strength it takes to confront pain in one’s past life, the main character lives both in her past and present. She is the two people she sees in the reflection, but it’s only though intentional introspection that she can resolve the unsolved business of her past and merge her identities into a more whole person.



A young man finds a short cut to skipping the menial tasks of his office desk job – but what he skips also fast forwards.

In this clever short film, a young office worker discovers that when he sneezes, he can fast forward into the not so distant future where all of his mind-numbingly boring paperwork has been completed. With a peppy soul song playing in the background, he explores his new-found power around his office. Like the fable of the golden thread, however, what our character doesn’t realize is that each sneeze, each skipped task chips away at his own life span. We suddenly find ourselves looking at an old man who has sneezed his way through his entire life, alone, in a dreary office scape.


Told through a creative blend of 2D and 3D characters, a young woman fights against a totalitarian regime seeking to eradicate the fragility and weaknesses of humanity.

Tesseract is a slight departure from our time travel theme of this spotlight, but is a visually stunning film about one girl’s attempts to preserve her humanity in a future world where weaknesses are eradicated by a totalitarian regime. The heroine straddles two worlds in her present day life: she looks to the legacy of her late grandfather who sacrificed his life to fight the oppressors and she looks to a future where through small actions of rebellion, a future where human fragility and emotion is valued. In this sense, she travels through worlds before and after her own, using them to shape her actions in the present.

Want to go further down the rabbit hole of the space time continuum?

Lose yourself in this specially curated playlist exploring themes of time travel: 

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