Shelter

What’s that? It’s just the sound of my heart shattering int tiny pieces after watching this short animation. I came across this video within hours of its upload on Youtube. This film is actually breathtaking. It starts off featuring a young girl who can create and do as she pleases in a virtual reality. She has ultimate power, shaping the world into whole new things or whoever she sees fit. She spends her days living in this paradise of virtual reality, before one day she comes to realize why she is there.

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It starts off strange. Why are there no people in this world? Could she not imagine some up to keep her company? The artist hit on her loneliness when she is shown gazing solemnly at a tablet screen. She’s received no new messages in 3578 days–that is roughly seven years. This girl, who is seventeen, has been locked up in the world since she was ten.

Now here’s the big question. Why? As the video and the story progress,  Rin begins to gain memories of a time long forgotten. She sees her father. She watches as he takes care of here whilst ignoring the utter horror of the problem at hand…The Earth is about to be destroyed by another planet. Too innocent to understand, Rin continues life normally, laughing and smiling as every kid should. Her father builds a spaceship or in other words a “shelter” (with only enough time to make one for her) to preserve his precious daughter. Surely he had to save his daughter, for unfair is a world where someone who hasn’t nearly had enough time on this Earth has to die so shortly. As the ultimate, and seemingly selfless sacrifice, her father sends her off before the Earth is impacted by the oncoming planet.

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Ten year old Rin in the pod shown crying as the destruction of Earth is reflected across the shelter’s glass.

What at first seems to be a story of paternal love and ultimate sacrifice, darkens upon further investigation. What does this video mean to me? Well, if you have seen the video as many times as I have (Which is more than seven, mind you.) then you would have picked up on the darker under tones and little hints sprinkled through out the video. It focuses on the loneliness of the girl even if she denies it, and the selfless acts of the father. Both are true, but when you think about it…Is she not doomed to a life of loneliness until death takes her? This seemingly selfless act is actually greed. Her father decided she couldn’t perish with the rest of humanity–no–she’s too young, too innocent. In his, at first deemed loving, actions he essentially doomed her to a life time of loneliness as the last human. He acted out of greed. He was too selfish to understand the situation. Much like strict parents do today, he acted to give her the best possible future, similar to how strict parents make their children work to a breaking point. He essentially made her suffer for a future that might have been less cruel if she were to die with him. Parents often make decisions they think are best, but are not truly.

Shelter really hits me in the heart. Mainly because of the amazing animation done by A-1 pictures, but the story. They left numerous details that one would miss upon first viewing, essentially making the film that much more enjoyable. Shelter gives me emotions, I feel for the main character. I feel for the father, and it just hurts so much. Such profound separation has left me in the gutters. A behind the scenes to the creation of this video can be found here.

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