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Film / Helium

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Helium is a 2014 short film (23 minutes) from Denmark, directed by Anders Walter.

Enzo (Casper Crump) is a janitor working at a children's hospital. While about his duties he meets Alfred, a boy of about six years old with an unnamed terminal illness. Alfred talks about how his parents say he's going to heaven, but heaven sounds boring. Enzo notices the toy blimp by Alfred's bed, the toy blimp hanging from the ceiling, and the balloons, and makes up a story about an alternative to Heaven called Helium.

As Enzo tells to Alfred, when the time comes, a dirigible will come to Alfred's hospital room and take him away. The dirigible will whisk him off to Helium, a magical world where houses float in the sky and the very air is sparkly and shiny, a place where Alfred will be strong and get to play as much as he wants. Enzo makes repeated visits to Alfred's sickroom, spinning more fantastical tales of the wonderful world.



  • Call-Back: Enzo makes Alfred a balloon dog and tells him that it's the sign for the dirigible to pick him up and take him to Helium. After Alfred makes his symbolic departure, all the windows in that part of the hospital (the terminal wing, presumably) have balloon dogs in them.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Presumably it's cancer, as not much else would be likely to kill a small boy. On the other hand, Alfred is never seen experiencing the sort of pain one might expect from cancer.
  • Dramatic Drop: Enzo drops his mop upon coming into Alfred's room and finding it empty. Alfred's only been moved, but he has gotten worse.
  • Ill Girl: Alfred, dying in the hospital.
  • Imagine Spot: The later portions of the film have imagine spots where Alfred is playing and having fun in the land of Helium.
  • Advertisement:
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: A terminally ill little boy in a hospital.
  • Minimalist Cast: Four speaking parts—Alfred, Enzo, the kindly nurse that helps Enzo, and another nurse.
  • Tearjerker: A dying child, being comforted by tales of an imaginary place where he can be healthy and play.
  • Time Passes Montage: A brief montage of Enzo visiting Alfred, talking to him, and wheeling him around the grounds of the hospital.

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