An elderly florist looks back at her life. After a lifetime devoted to sowing love with her flowers, will she ever harvest? (synopsis via Vimeo (c) HALAL)
The Dutch Oscar® submission in the Animated Short Film Category in 2018, Emily, directed by Marlies van der Wel (who is also responsible for Jonas and the Sea), is one of those short films that seizes your heart in the best possible way from the get-go.
A sublimely beautiful and eminently touching film about finding your own place in life and pursuing what makes you happy, Emily finds the elderly eponymous protagonist reflecting on the life she has lived, one which has centred on flowers and serving people and making the world a better and more vibrantly kindly place.
While it appears at times that she has fled from closeness to people, both friendship-wise and relationally, which fits a person who finds peace and contentment in her own company, and you might surmise she has left a great deal by not closely connecting with the others, the film suggests that she has harvested richly in ways that defy the standard idea of what entails a life well-lived.
Even with the suggestion of loneliness and loss that is evident in this animated gem, Emily is ultimately starkly, gorgeously moving, a testament to the fact that our life doesn’t have to meet expectations or established norms to be worth something or to make a lasting impact on others.