SUMMARY: In a world where people are born with assigned hierarchical numbers on their chests, Zero finds himself mercilessly persecuted for his lowly place on the totem pole.
WHY IT’S HERE: Christopher Kezelos’s superb mathematical social parable ‘Zero’ is a harsh but heart-warming tale of societies outcasts. The opening narration dispels the myth that life is a level playing field and taps into the truth that some are born with more opportunities than others… and some are born with zero opportunities whatsoever. Following the tale of one such character, Kezelos cleverly uses the theme of numbers throughout to highlight the mistreatment so often heaped on the less-fortunate. For example, unlike the other numbers, zeroes are forbidden from multiplying. For much of the film we see Zero struggling in a world that despises him for something beyond his control but the story begins to turn when he rescues a female zero from a gang of bullies and forbidden love blossoms, leading to a very clever ending. Moving but with a satirical, socially-conscious core that prevents it from slipping into cheap sentimentality, ‘Zero’ uses fantastic stop motion puppets cast in silicon and then made to look like balls of wool, with the zeroes depicted as tangled, dowdy pieces of string, which of course have a thousand uses if only you look beyond their unattractive appearance.