It is not a hazard of life, nor an accident, nor a product of the imagination, but a strange in-between. An experience of ending. An experience that cannot be attributed to anyone, because it belongs to no one person.

To see your world suddenly collapse is to have to reinvent everything or surrender, to reclaim your life or end it, to reevaluate your beliefs or deny them.

Bare Bones is a story of interpreting, extending, and questioning what makes us human.


Who are we? Where do our values come from? What defines our identity? How do we know we belong? In order to explore the question, I chose to put humanity in a hostile and extreme context, where the earth has lost its abundance, where plastic is the most available resource, where the collective consciousness is reduced to survival.

When we look at others, we naturally identify with them. We create complex systems, and then we see how people, in order to survive, are able to devour each other. We see how people, when thirsty of power, indulge in their hopelessness. We see the myth of progress declining. We see how those who suffer lose their sense of self. And yet, we still don't know who we are. I wanted a film where humans are undistinguishable, where no gender exists anymore, and where human general resignation has led to an single neutral face. I wanted a film where  humans merged their beliefs and customs in their quest of survival. A film where the attributes of mankind  reflect the collapse between different cultures, and the primitive aspect of their manufacture. A movie where human dignity has vanished and a garbage bag can serve as common clothing.

Can we conceive of a future for our species? Imagining a world that is far from ours implies a questioning of our relationship to reality, explains the articulation between our rationality and emotions, and opens the door to understanding ourselves. Bare Bones’ world is the product of a non-existent imagination that is also a projection of our current life. In this animated tale, I introduced the image of the insect as a symbol of how we attribute moral values to objects that do not depend on us. A cockroach may be what we find abhorrent today, but as it survives the world’s tyranny, its value rises to the rank of a divine entity.

The worlds proposed in the movie make it possible to reevaluate the society in a metaphorical and a physical way. Places evolve from their most fundamental meaning: they are made to protect humans, to make them feel safe. Bare Bones’s architecture wants to convey the vision of rationality and safety, devoid of any identity trace. The spaces are minimalist and reflective, confronting the inhabitants with their constant reflection. Through these spaces, I am approaching questions related to human psychology through metaphors and aesthetics.

Bare Bones carries no lesson to be learned, nor any certainty to be obtained. Bare Bones plays with the norms of a universe of violence and exacerbated sensitivity, with the colors of emotion and its absence. It is about questioning our values, and accepting doubt.


Meryem Lahlou
Liam Young
Pablo Arellano
Alexey Marfin

Director | Writer | Animator
Music composer
Special Thanks