‘Fire Flower’ has an interesting story behind the real one and the whole composition looks like it took a decent amount of time to make it as it is right now. And that is actually right as in the cover letter, we found Stephan Leeper’s way of doing this short experiment: it is the five years’ work of Leeper’s students who made it only during the fall semesters of university. Now with that ‘Fire Flower’ gains even more value.
The narrative follows the trip a nun makes with four orphans to the botanical garden to celebrate the birthday of one of them. On their way, they meet someone special – a small and funny robot that goes along with them. When they enter the botanical garden, the robot starts analyzing the plants surrounding them. His way of seeing nature as we know it is rather different from how we see it, and one thing leads to another, and this time the robot starts seeing the surrounding world as hostile. At one point it starts feeling that everything ‘organic’ is dangerous and acts accordingly, putting everyone’s life in danger.
‘Fire Flower’ may be a powerful lesson about human beings and our co-existence with technology. We tend to give technology too much credit, reason why one-day it may start taking control over us. The key moment in 'Fire Flower' is when the little robot feels threatened by the ‘organic’ things around it, and starts destroying them. Though it may seem funny at first, under this shell of fun, there is a huge concern that should be acknowledged by all the viewers, no matter their age. .
It is important that Leeper made this short animation not only because we can teach our kids about the evolution of technology, but also because it teaches us not to take everything for granted. If we can, we should always look twice at something that seems too good to be true.
Review written by Vlad A.G