“In the aftermath of tragedy, two grieving parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child.”

Director: Michael Govier, Will McCormack
Writers: Michael Govier, Will McCormack
Release Date: November 20, 2020

Good lord this movie had me wiping away tears on the train.

If Anything Happens I Love You is an animated short that illustrates the trauma, heartache and depression parents go through when they lose a child due to a school shooting. There are no words spoken, but to quote Taylor Swift, I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.

If Anything Happens I Love You is somehow the saddest thing you’ll watch today, but it will also be the most resilient think you’ll watch for a very long time. This short story does not shy away from the dark clouds that hang over someone when they go through something traumatic. The grasp that your thoughts have on you are illustrated hauntingly in this story, constantly nipping at the heels of the parents who are just trying to about their every day lives.

There are a series of callbacks within the episode that are wonderful, most notably the illustration of the meatball, which opens and nearly closes the film. Those small touches by Michael Govier and Will McCormack help If Anything Happens I Love You become an absolute must-watch.

I mean let’s just be real here. School shootings suck. There is nothing good about them at all. Literally, zero. As if we needed anymore reminders about how awful they are, but If Anything Happens I Love You is a nudge that people need to recognize. There are tangible scars and unrepairable traumas created by these horrific events. If Anything Happens I Love You puts an emphasis on the unseen scars.

It is crazy to say but there is a good chance that someone you know has been affected by a school shooting in someway. I grew up 15 minutes from Sandy Hook and when that tragedy happened I had sisters in high school the town over. I also had a middle school teacher who lost a child to a school shooting. Just brutal.

If Anything Happens I Love You shares a brutal truth in a beautiful way. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Short at the 2021 Academy Awards. You can, and must, watch it now on Netflix.

STANKO RATING: A+ (5.0/5 Stars)

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