How the dead live

by Joseph Pierce

Next Step 2022


Feature Film

Lily Bloom is taking forever to die. As cancer consumes her, slowly, she watches the world around her through a half-conscious haze: the parade of doctors, her soliloquies on the world, visits from her daughters - Natasha and Charlotte, two lost souls. As death comes, eventually, Lily discovers that the great beyond is governed by the same red-tape, the same listless taboos as her previous life. From this moment on, Lily dedicates herself to one single goal: getting back to the world of the living. 

After Scale, Joseph Pierce keeps exploring the work of British author Will Self - the cynical, yet sentimental offspring of William S. Burroughs - in this eponymous adaptation. Joseph’s films are like the rotoscope animation he uses: an expressive, photorealistic stroke, contaminated by a disturbing oddity. Thus, a familiar setting opens up to an otherworldly gulf, mad visions and raw emotions. Through animation Joseph Pierce wants to embrace the different layers of reality and show the audience our core conundrums: How do the dead live, and how do the living learn to die.