Noir-soleil is animated short about an unforeseen family reunion.

Everything in the film is about incongruous contrasts. The beautiful artwork, at times so gentle and soft, provides an unlikely medium for a story with such dark subjects.

The volcano rumblings around Pompeii set off a minor earthquake, which causes it to release one of its secrets. A body concealed beneath the water is set free, and rises to the surface. Miles away, in an isolated cabin, a man gets a voicemail to come ID the corpse.

On the boat crossing the Bay of Naples, the man, Dino, runs into his daughter, Victoria. Both were contacted by the police to give a DNA test to identify the body. What follows is an odd couple of days, which are half like a holiday, with Victoria, who has never been to her father’s old home, taking in the tourist sites, and half like a wake, filled with tension and frustrated grief.

Victoria and Dino’s relationship runs both in parallels and contrasts with his relationship with his father. Dino’s father was abusive when he was around, and when he disappeared, he assumed he had abandoned the family to start a new life in America. He was absent for most of Dino’s life and not approachable even before that. Dino’s relationship with Victoria is different, loving, but he still struggles to talk, to express his feelings. She is an adult, and they are not in close contact, but nonetheless she shows support, patience and love for him. Dino has clearly tried to be a better father than he got, but his upbringing has left its mark on him, and there is a silence and a distance that will always be there.

A film about the intergenerational legacy of trauma, told with both understanding and hope.