Each week, Markus Mickels is tasked to find a short film that is connected to a weekly theme. This week's theme was based around the idea of 'Hate'.

Two men rule the skies. In the machines that give them flight, they soar majestically across the skyline. But the steel tubes that have brought them so high are also where they are trapped. This is the setting of Paths of Hate.

Paths of Hate is a beautifully animated short about two fighter pilots locked in a battle to the death and is an absolute delight to watch. It is no wonder then that synthwave group Gunship licensed footage from the short to make up the music video for their song 'Fly for Your Life'. If you've never heard Gunship, I highly recommend checking out the videos to their songs 'Revel in Your Time' and 'Tech Noir'. The latter, especially with its numerous film references and spoken intro courtesy of legendary filmmaker and composer John Carpenter, is sure to be a treat for any cinephile.

Why use the footage?

So why did Gunship use footage from Paths of Hate in their video? Well, the obvious reason is that the song is called 'Fly for Your Life' and the short is literally about two fighter pilots flying for their life. But why are they fighting? What are they fighting for? Wars tend to be conflicts of ideologies, of religious or political interests, waged by leaders who send the masses out in the real world to violently resolve conflicts they couldn't resolve themselves.

When two people fire at each other on a battlefield, what's their motivation? Well, chances are if they don't fire first, the other will. And this is the prison in which war holds soldiers in - the threat that if you do not act, the other side will. The two pilots in Paths of Hate could fly separate ways and never look back, but what if the other decided to follow the other and shoot them down?

There's another reason than mere survival as to why the pilots in Paths of Hate fight. 'Fly for Your Life' isn't literally about fighter pilots, but its real subject matter still resonates with the imagery in Paths of Hate. And that subject matter is love. Both of the fighter pilots have a reason to want to come out of the encounter alive - a place they're looking to go to or something they still want to do. One of the pilots, for example, has a picture of what we can assume is the woman he loves in his cockpit. So they're not only fighting for themselves but for their loved ones. They are fighting to come back home.

But as a wise little green fellow in a very successful franchise about a war of the stars once said, "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." When people on the battlefield are afraid of the other side and ultimately death, this fear can quickly turn into anger at the realisation that they could be taken away from their loved ones. And that anger can lead to hate, and that hate leads to inflicting pain and suffering on the other side. In Paths of Hate, we see two men let go of their sense of empathy and humanity in the middle of horrific violence. Letting go is what leads to them being consumed by their hate, stripping them of their humanity and leaving behind only the ugly demons living inside of them. But if one of these demons wins the fight against the other, will it still be a victory? Is this demon the person their loved ones would want to see return home?