A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that If Anything Happens I Love You is an award-winning 2020 animated short about gun violence, loss, grief, and senseless death. Without a word uttered, the stark animation conveys the devastation of parents who lose a child to a school shooter. Although the subject matter is tough, no actual violence is shown. That, added to its brevity, may make it a useful tool to stimulate meaningful conversations in families about grief, about the randomness of tragedy, and about the accessibility of guns in society.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In 12 brief minutes, IF ANTYHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU wordlessly depicts the grief of senseless loss that parents, families, and friends suffer in the aftermath of school and other shootings. The title words come from the last text sent home by a young student shot shortly after hitting "send." The filmmakers use shadows to express the parents' changeable inner feelings, including rage, depression, guilt, shame, and longing.
Is it any good?
If Anything Happens I Love You sensitively shows the aftermath of gun violence. Melancholy images of two devastated parents and the shadow selves that follow them in their grief convey the private but also universal damage such families endure. In drab grays and muted colors, this eloquently conveys what grief looks like. The choice to keep the animation minimalist and to pare down the lives of those in mourning to the barest essentials proves to be a moving one.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how different people cope with tragedy in their lives. Do you think the film accurately conveys how some parents would feel at the loss of a child? Why or why not?
How do you think the parents depicted here will move forward with their lives? Does the movie give any clues?
What point of view does the movie present about the availability of guns to school shooters? Do you agree or disagree?
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