It is okay to be the way you are – that is what all stories on the LGBT theme tell you. Acceptance and awareness are the two values raised in any film that revolves around this theme. Yet, each film is unique in its own way as the dilemmas explored are unique.
Written, animated and directed by Alex Myung, Arrival is a 2D animated short film that reflects the life and experiences of Myung himself as a gay man in the city of New York. The film explores one boy’s struggle to face the truth of his love and his life, and reveal it to the person he cares about the most.
The scene starts with a young man taking deep, ragged and quick breaths as he stands in what looks like a room, facing something bright, and a tear rolls down his eye. At that moment, you are forced to believe that something terrible has happened. The film then moves to the flashback where the little boy is having a wonderful time with his mother, clicking pictures and bathing in the beauty of nature. Days pass like that and a time comes when the boy grows up and has to leave for the city in search of a job. With a heavy heart, he bids adieu to his mother and comes to the sparkling city. That his when his journey of finding his love begins.
The film comprises of only music with no dialogues. The communication of the boy and his mother while he is in the city happens through photographs. Both of them share their experiences in their respective places through taking pictures and posting them to the other. Myung has very finely portrayed the anxiousness of the boy when he is new to the city and his ease as he finds his companion and starts exploring the joys of urban life.
Told through the eyes of a young gay man and his relationship with his mother, the film depicts queer culture and the difficulties one faces when contemplating about “coming out”. The characters in the film, while faced with a problem that is centric to those of the LGBT community, speak to those who question any part of their identity and are afraid to confront it.
The film got funded on Kickstarter It has been hand animated frame by frame and digitally inked and coloured. The original score was recorded live with an Orchestra in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee, USA. It is produced by Amy Benaroya with executive producers as John Compton, John Truex and Eric P. Sherman. Upright T-Rex has composed the music while additional inking and colouring is provided by Shelly Low, Keenon Ferrell, Claire Van Ryzin, Josephine Mark and Serene Hu.
Arrival delves into the often-unexamined ripple effect that hiding your true self has on loved ones around you. The film imparts a very simple and touching message – whatever the highs and lows, one must never feel guilty for loving the right person.