Gladius (2020)

7 min.; no dialogue; France; directors: directors: Margaux Latapie, Grégory Diaz, Florian Cazes, Marie-Charlotte Deshayes-Ducos, Clément Petellaz, Baptiste Ouvrard, Jimmy Natchoo, Guillaume Mellet

This short CGI film was created by students at ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques) and clearly evokes the 2000 blockbuster film, Gladiator. In it, a Roman winemaker named Marcus recalls his former life as a gladiator through a series of interspersed flashbacks. The film is a somber meditation on the PTSD that afflicts Marcus as a result of his experiences, though it also depicts the fighting scenes in a style inspired by popular video-games – violent but largely bloodless. It ends on a positive, sentimental note that suggests a life of meaning and care can be enjoyed even after the harm of trauma.

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