A 22-year-old animator wants to tell the story of one man’s entire life. In only three minutes, by the way. It’s quite a challenging and unusual choice from such a young artist. Her name is Izzy Burton, and she works in an animation studio in London. She has the story in her mind but still needs some inspiration. So, she searches for poems on Google and comes across Rachel Cladingbowl’s poetry. It truly inspires her to create the short film Via. The result is a breathtaking animation that Burton crafted herself with the creative team at Blue Zoo Animation.

I don’t want to reveal more about the story. Enjoy the film now and read Cladingbowl’s beautiful poem. (You can have a look at the glossary, too.)

Film Time

The Meaning of Via

We follow a man through different stages of his life: childhood, first love, fatherhood, and the inevitable last days. He’s a faceless man who doesn’t even have a name. That’s why it’s so easy to identify with him and his universal story.

You must know that Via means road in Latin, and in the film, it refers to the tortuous path we all go along in life. It reflects the complexities of our own existence. But the short encourages us to notice tiny and joyful moments. It shows us that we should live experiences to the full with the people we love. And that we should find the determination to overcome the dark times.

What I loved most about this film is that you feel immersed in a dreamlike and forgotten place. The narrator’s warm voice, the epic environments, and the beautiful notes of Vince Webb all create this unique atmosphere. As Izzy Burton pointed out, “The rhythm of the poem helps the film flow better; it had more space to breathe.”

Cycle of Life

You might remember that the story starts with a boy appearing to his grandfather with a ball in his head. That ball will pass on from generations to generations. It represents the cycle of life and that there’s always more to come.

In fact, the film concludes with a positive note. The faceless and now lonely man can appreciate his life when he thinks about it. He comes to realize what a fantastic journey he had. He feels reassured that in the end, the sun will always rise again.

Every day has been a chance

To start my life anew,

To learn to see the magic,

To feed the seeds that grew,

And as the days turn into years

I see how far I’ve come—

I look between the trees and clouds

And there I see the sun.

Rachel Cladingbowl

Study Time

Have you ever thought of using “poetic” expressions to add color to your language? If not, it’s time to learn some of them. Let the infographic below inspire you!

Via A Man's Journey

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Learn poetic expressions with the short film Via.


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