Blue Tomorrow

A man forced by rising seas to leave his island goes on an unkown journey.

Genre: Animation

Length: 14:53

Free To View

3.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Numan Ayaz,

Director/s : Numan Ayaz, 

Writer/s : Numan Ayaz, 

Actor/s :

 

A long view

Lighthouse keepers, they live alone on their islands, and can’t be held responsible for what happens in the wider world. They just keep ships off the rocks. You feel you can trust a lighthouse-keeper, especially this one with his gentle face like a young Harry Dean Stanton.

The wind rises, and he plays with a kite. Animations make light work of surrealism, so it’s fine that he climbs the string and sits on his kite above the clouds.

But when he looks down, the sea is flooding his island. He has no choice but to sail away, and the kite tows his boat to a flooded city where dead bodies float among the detritus and (ironically) an abandoned boat. The horror is muted, but it’s still horror.

He finds a higher island where his fellow blameless keepers are building new lighthouses. But still the seas rise, and his kite-powered boat returns like a faithful dog with a lead.

There are some wonderfully deft touches to the animation, such as he man’s laboured wading chest-deep in water, the way his shoulders swing as he paddles the boat, his recoil at seeing the dead bodies. It has won half a dozen Best Animation festival awards for writer/director Numan Ayaz.

In spite of its Armageddon scenario, Blue Tomorrow is rather a minimalist piece. The sound is mainly wind and waves, and what little music there is, is a simple guitar. The ending is appropriately low-key and surreal.

The message is not apoplectic, but a gently haunting reminder of the impossible situation the world will find itself in if it fails to tackle climate change. It’s a plea that we should heed the wardens, with their long view.

[Full film not yet available to the public. Screener link is to trailer.]