It’s a brand new year and a brand new decade, which means many new films and shorts to discover. 2020 has already started out with a bang. I recently watched two equally brilliant shorts and one of them was called the LION.

LION was written and directed by Davide Melini. The story centers around a young boy named Leon (Pedro Sánchez) who is severely abused by his father (Michael Segal) and neglected by his mother (Tania Mercader). His only escape from this horrible nightmare is his connection and love to animals – specifically lions. Will they help save him?

This short starts out so beautifully. It begins with an isolated chalet in a snowy forest. It’s enchanting and almost whimsical. But once you’re inside, you realize it’s just an illusion. This is nothing but a pure nightmare. Real horror. This is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I’ve ever seen. Abuse is horrible but there’s something truly sinister about child abuse. Taking advantage of something so innocent and fragile is sickening and, unfortunately, it happens every day. This story painfully shows the hurt one child can go through when neither parent is there for them and all they are left with is hope.

Pedro Sánchez delivers a brilliant performance despite his young age. He shows courage and bravery despite all the abuse he endures. I felt a special connection with him. I understand his love for animals and the need to feel protected. Sometimes they’re all you have. Michael Segal’s performance was equally riveting. It’s not easy playing a cockroach of a human. I hated his character with a fiery passion, and he delivered it effortlessly. 

The end left me stunned and speechless. It was unexpected but brilliant. The purest and rawest form of revenge. Justice served from two giant paws. LION is one of the most important shorts I’ve ever watched. Its message is important. We must protect those who can’t protect themselves. We must be their Lions.

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