Death and Magic Castles

Nominated for Best Animated Short

Directed by Kari Barber

5' • United States • 2021

English, French

On a beautiful, sunny day five year old Zizou fell to the ground and died when his heart suddenly stopped. In that moment of losing my son I was thrown into the cold reality of America’s complicated relationship with death. Through animation, "Death and Magic Castles" explores traditions of mourning and loss in different cultures and follows my quest to bring death and life closer together. As the world collectively grieves this past year and a half, this short animated documentary gives hope for healing and tackles how to externalize grief in a culture where mourning is taboo and the goal is to live forever.