- Michael Govier and Will McCormack
- Run Time
- 13 minutes
VP Content Ratings
- Sex & Nudity
- Star Rating
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Love never ends…
I am glad I knew virtually nothing ahead of time about directors Michael Govier and Will McCormack’s incredibly hard hitting film, so I will try to avoid including spoilers in what follows. Seldom has so much emotional impact been lodged in such a short film!
Using a minimalist animation style, and no dialogue, the filmmakers show us a man and a woman eating alone at a long table. Their faces express their mutual sorrow, but they hardly look at each other. Their large black shadows hover between them, possibly suggesting a recent quarrel. The man gets up and leaves without a word. Outside he passes a large hole in the stucco covering of their house. The wife gets up and goes about her chores, including laundry. Everything has been in black and white until the woman comes across a garment that is blue. She holds it up, revealing that it is a small shirt. She dislodges a soccer ball that magically bounces across the floor, rolls into a room and, bumping a child’s record player, starts it playing the record on the turntable. Now we know they have lost their child.
With their dark shadows about them (including that of their daughter) memories are conjured up. The father and daughter playing with the soccer ball, which she kicks past him, hitting the wall hard and smashing the stucco. There are other memories, including the last day when the girl walks to school—and by now there is more color, indicating their numbness is wearing off and the two are coming together again. Switching from the redbrick schoolhouse into which the daughter has entered, and we see a cellphone with the text of the title of the film. A repeat of the girl walking to school really arouses the viewer’s emotions because we see the shadows of the two parents repeatedly trying to stop her enroute and then from entering the school building. Of course, this is not possible, and the two are left together with their haunting but beautiful memories—and most of all, together again, suggesting for believers that perhaps this is God bringing them together. One is also reminded of the famous saying by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” as well as the promise made by Jesus to the broken-hearted.
Available by clicking onto How to watch the Oscar-nominated animated shorts.
This review is in the May issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.