Trona Pinnacles

A French teenager accompanies her warring parents on a family holiday to Death Valley in the US in this emotional short animated film.

Stuck between her volcanic father, whose temper is on a hair trigger, and her mother’s rictus grin which seems to convey even more tension in its efforts to dispel it, Gabrielle plays tentative peacemaker. She accompanies her mother on a drive out into the desert, as her father is left to expel his bad temper in unpacking.

There, beneath the beautiful scenery, the running from their problems stops for a single moment, as they experience wonder at the towering Trona Pinnacles by sunset. In this place so stark and brutal, in a place named after death itself, it feels like the end of the world, yet as night descends it is peaceful, awe-inspiring, and dwarfing in its timeless grandeur.

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