‘Busy:’ A Very Short Film about a Very Big Issue

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Short of the Day

Trading your hours for a handful of dimes.

If there’s one adjective that best describes our contemporary global society, that adjective, without a doubt, is “busy.” On the whole we work more hours than any other generation before us, and at the same time we produce less for it. Today we crunch numbers, we move data around, we manage accounts; we’re not individually building our own homes, or growing our own food, tending livestock, making sure we have running water, teaching our own children, all of which are things a century or so ago people were largely responsible for themselves. We work to pay others to do these things, we work to pay bills, and frankly most of us are barely able to do that no matter how busy we are. But we keep at it, if anything the less we have the busier we stay, because busy equals value, busy equals worth, busy – if you’re lucky – equals success.

But what are we sacrificing for all our busyness? No one looks up from their deathbed and wishes they had spent more time at work, or running errands, or tangled in the tedium of chores and responsibilities that come with modern life. As renowned thinker, conservationist, and writer Henry David Thoreau once stated:

“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

This dilemma was the impetus for the animated short-short Busy from Francisco Kitzberger, which in just over a minute’s time establishes a metaphor for our universal busyness, as well as that busyness’ inherent aimlessness. It’s a concise little parable you might want to watch more than once. You know, for perspective’s sake.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist