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The 12-minute Netflix film that will stay with you for days.

This post deals with the loss of a child and might be triggering for some readers.

Last night, I sat down ready to browse Netflix when I came across If Anything Happens I Love You.

Sitting in Netflix's top 10 list and only 12 minutes long, without reading the preview, I clicked in to watch. 

About ten minutes later, I found myself inconsolable.

Watch the trailer for If Anything Happens I Love You. Post continues below.


Video via Netflix.

If Anything Happens I Love You is an American animated short film directed and written by Will McCormack and Michael Govier, that follows two parents as they grieve the loss of their 10-year-old daughter to a school shooting.

The entire film is in black and white with brief moments of colour linked to the couple's daughter.

It opens on a shot of the couple sitting on opposite sides of the dinner table in silence, with shadows of the pair expressing their true emotions.

Image: Netflix.

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We watch on as they move further away from each other in grief.

Then, the mother comes across an item of clothing belonging to her daughter, and enters her bedroom for the first time.

It is here where the couple reconnect and reflect on memories with their daughter, leading up to the day of the shooting.

Image: Netflix.

“We wanted to create an elegy for these parents who have dealt with that grief that no one should have to go through,” director, Will McCormack said to Animation Scoop.

“You’re watching a grieving process,” Govier added. 

“I do think there’s hope within it because you’re seeing the human spirit and how much the human spirit can endure and go forward. That is a huge testament to all of us and also to survivors – and also the ones who were lost.”

The film skilfully explores the unique grief of losing a child to a school shooting, and it is utterly soul-destroying. 

There is no sensationalised violence. 

No blood and guns. 

Not even a single word of dialogue.

The extent to which the shooting is shown is limited to quiet gunshots, sirens and screaming on the backdrop of an empty school hallway - donned with the US flag.

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While it is not explicitly based on a true story, the film echoes the messages that were sent by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida to their parents in 2018.

What directors McCormack and Govier were able to capture so artfully was the impact of a scene all too familiar to our news cycle.

It is powerful, uncomfortable, and heartbreaking all at once.

If you're up for a tough watch that will stay with you for days, If Anything Happens I Love You once again opens up the important conversation around gun violence in the United States.

Go watch it. Now.

Feature Image: Netflix.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

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