The Light And The Little Girl is a short with a simple concept that is all at once sweet, innocent and just a little bit heartbreaking. We follow a little girl as she chases a beam of light through an empty house, watching it flit through her fingers and dance from room to room, accompanied by a haunting and ethereal soundtrack.
The look of the film is soft and fabulously shot, with great tones and technical finesse. The light is used effectively – a character in its own right – and the girl is a silent but strong role who impressively carries the story along without a single word of dialogue.
In terms of storyline, the premise is simple but effective. There are no big twists or turns, no complex side stories to follow. It’s sweet – silly even – playing upon the theme of the child’s vast imagination and endearing curiosity. We’re thrown into a world devoid of adults and full of pretty things, a dream-like setting in which the little girl’s escapades unfold. Between the orchid, stacks of old dusty books, goldfish and pretty magnifying glass we’re left somewhere in between a fairytale and a Tim Walker photograph: magical and beautiful and ripe for a story such as this.
That being said, the depressing symbolism of the beam is slightly unavoidable; this illuminating, warm and beautiful thing, pretty and present but always out of her grasp. It’s frustrating and saddening to watch as she tries, with optimism, to outwit the light, deflating each time she fails. This is a film about childhood and the inevitable, crushing moments at which we all have to face up to the realities that counter-act our wild and unbounded childish imaginations. The beam begins as this magical, pretty thing and ends up instigating a harsh truth: that the light cannot be captured. It cannot be held, and it is in this respect that the film carries a much more serious tone.
Regardless of the director’s intention and whatever you take from the film – whether you view it as a playful, sweet short or a masked comment on the loss of innocence every child inevitably faces – The Light And The Little Girl is brilliantly executed and well worth a watch.