Van Gogh animation

Soundtrack of Grim Reaper in Van Gogh wheat field

Do you believe in fate? Check out our Ray Bradbury video about the grim reaper scythe, including Munch and Van Gogh animation. Your turn to change destiny!

"It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate" Thoreau

What is fate ?

The Book Thief movie, narrated by the Grim Reaper
Dead Can Dance's record picture of dead fields waiting for the grim reaper scythe
book cover for the Scythe Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury video made from Munch and Van Gogh animation s

Famous paintings were animated by to tell this grim story.  By order of apparition you have seen:

  • Hubert Von Herkomer animation - "Hard Times"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Farm House in Wheat Field"
  • Edvard Munch animation - "By the Deathbed"
  • Van Gogh animation - "The Potato Eaters"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Man with scythe in wheat field"
  • Van Gogh animation - "The Reaper" + Thanks to B. Anderson "Mowing Reed Canary Grass with a Scythe"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Ears of Wheat"
    + "Victory Belongs to People" painted on the Berlin wall
  • Van Gogh animation - "Old Man in Sorrow
    (On the Threshold of Eternity)"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Reaper with Sickle (after Millet)"
    + "The Wheat Field With a Lark"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Farm House in Wheat Field"
  • Casts of people buried in lava and ashes at Pompeii
  • Edvard Munch animation - "The Scream"
  • Van Gogh animation - "Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun"
  • Also added extracts from actual war footage:
    + "World War1 footage"
    + "Archive footage of Hiroshima bombing"
    + "Dramatic Aerial Combat Footage from Afghanistan!"

Loosely based on The Scythe Ray Bradbury


The video soundtrack 

was inspired by the

dark ambience of

Dead Can Dance's

music and front cover:

a field of sunflowers, ripened and blackened by the sun, like heads waiting to be chopped and be re-grown from their roots.  Anastasis is the Greek word for ‘resurrection.’ Do you believe in fate ? Can you change destiny ?


Great film about Nazi 

Germany narrated by

the Grim Reaper. 

The Book Thief

opens with one death

and ends with dozens,

but right there in

the middle is a heart

warming (hollywood) story about humanity and redemptive power of words. “When the time comes, don’t panic. It doesn’t seem to help.”


A collection of 19

classic stories


all taking place in

autumn, all with a

darker edge to them. 

In the Scythe
Ray Bradbury 

tells a highly literate horror story à la Edgar Allen Poe, ripe with metaphors, images and meaning ready for harvest. Here comes the Grim Reaper Scythe!

Watch Ray Bradbury movies

Read The Scythe Ray Bradbury

Listen to grim reapers

Ray Bradbury said about his short story “The Scythe” that "It's a double metaphor. It's the automatic metaphor of knowing farmers and seeing them using the scythe on occasion, and then the obvious metaphor you saw in cartoons of war and death. Reaping harvests. I must have seen a cartoon and carried it to the next step."  Well, it must only be fate that brought the plot full circle into an animated video of the Grim Reaper.

What is fate?

Fate is indisputably the central character of the plot, more than the Grim Reaper himself.

It is fate that drove the family to food and shelter, as if the family man had been the chosen one, led to the farm just in time, to succeed in the role of his passing predecessor.  Hence, was everything written in the first place with nothing left to chance or free will?

The grim reaper scythe wields the world

When the family man realizes that he is killing people every time he uses the scythe, he has to come up with a justification for doing what he's doing: the greater good of his family. The key question is whether it would have been possible then to walk away from the predicament.  “Let him take them freely” says the giver’s letter about the farm, the wheat, the scythe and the task, which suggests it was possible to disclaim the property.  But it does take courage to say no, as there is always a price to pay.  Leaving the farm would have costs the family the certainty of food and shelter without any guarantee of survival. 

Instead, by accepting his fate against the premise of food and shelter, does the family man seal the deal that will lead to his family destruction?  He knows, still per the giver’s will letter, that the Grim Reaper is "alone in the world as it has been decreed."  This story was written in 1943 during World War II and echoes choices made by the Nazis in obeying orders, refusing to stand for what is right and later denying any responsibility. 

Can the grim reaper change destiny ? 

Fate, however, continues to tighten its grip, as it becomes more and more difficult for the family man to let go of his new professional duties: "Can't let nobody else mess with that wheat; they wouldn't know where to cut and not to cut.  They might cut the wrong parts." The greater good has shifted from his family man's duties to the humanity's fate. So, is there a turning point when one does lose control of his own fate?

As the story unfold, the question of free will against fate comes again.  When the family man sees the stalks that represent the lives of his family, he refuses to cut them in a desperate move to counter the writing in the wheat.  We see again that this decision is not without consequences as his wife and kids can neither die nor live.  Worse, the outcomes are now between two evils. 

So, do you believe in fate now ?

Does it mean that fate always wins in the end, and that our lives are pre-ordained?  Well, we hope there might be a window, a fork in the road, where it is still possible to exercise free will to choose a destiny, like leaving the farm early on for better or for worse.  In this story, there was clearly a time to act honorably and a time to regret desperately.  

Ray Bradbury may have had a darker view of life as his short story starts with: "Quite suddenly there was no more road."

How to become a grim Reaper

​​Other posts about Fate:

How to become a Grim Reaper