Icarus by César Pesquera

Short film co-produced by Story and Canal Arte. Winner of the OFFF 2013 Festival grant. Presented at Arte Creative and at the OFFF Festival 2014.


ICARUS is an animated short documentary created with George Yoshitake’s voice. Yoshitake was the last surviving member of the secret group of cameramen who, between 1945 and 1962, filmed US Army nuclear tests in the Nevada desert and Pacific Ocean.

ICARUS is about the fascination of looking, the greedy impulse to capture images – the essence of filmmaking. For César Pesquera these cameramen represent the urge to document and film an event, no matter what the consequences, risking their lives to capture a very precise moment.

The film also tells us about the risk of going too far, getting too close – like Icarus whose wings were melted by the sun. This same sun is present in the Japanese flag, George Yoshitake’s country of origin. George’s relatives died in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and also in Fukishima, the site of another nuclear tragedy, just three years ago.

“In fact at some point” recalls Pesquera “the film looks like a negative of the Japanese flag”.

“Their desire to film the nuclear tests makes these cameramen, in particular Yoshitake given his Japanese origins, a good metaphor of the myth of Icarus, a myth that’s worth remembering at this point in history.”

Together with Barcelona studio Physalia, César Pesquera created a 3D element inspired by some of this group of men’s photographs. The ambiguous nature of the images of nuclear blasts made a big impression on Pesquera: they were something between cocoon and larva, connecting the micro with the macro.

“Icarus” has been co-produced by Canal Arte creative and Story: and it has been selected in competition for the International Film Festival of Lanzarote 2015, and for CineGlobe Festival 2015.