Based around a river-crossing riddle that has been traced back to a medieval manuscript, Gil Alkabetz’s playful animation from 1997 brings a personal solution to a classical puzzle involving a wolf, a sheep and a cabbage. With worldwide variations including a fox, a chicken, and grain or a panther, a pig, and porridge, Alkabetz takes this relatable riddle and adds his own twist to create a comedic and surreal 7-minute short.
Initially feeling like a genuine attempt to solve the puzzle, we quickly realise that Alkabetz actually has no intention of doing so when the boat crosses our screen for a sixth time with the wolf rowing the boat. As events progressively get weirder with each river crossing, we truly start to understand the fun the animator is having with Rubicon as the scenario descends into what appears to be a Dali-esque world.
Rubicon was nominated for the ‘Best Short Film’ Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1997 and since its conclusion Gil has gone on to make another 6 short films which have played festivals worldwide.