I am not an Angel is a 11-minute animated short film with no dialogue, and is about a very ordinary female nurse named Amy, who does everything in her power to help save a patient from succumbing to Covid-19. It is a testament to the health care workers who are the heroes in this fight against an unseen enemy infecting people all over the world and killing them at an alarming rate.
The story begins with a young woman, Nurse Amy, unaware of the severity of the virus, going to work alone, while millions of people don masks as the infection travels through the population. More and more people start to disappear. The nurse comes to realize the patient she is tasked with taking care of, is not a run-of-the-mill case, but is a matter of life and death that is a ticking time bomb.
The patient goes through the ups and downs of the virus and is soon close to death, as are thousands of people, who find themselves at the doorstep separating them from staying on this earth or dying from the virus. However, it is the health care workers who keep as many patients as possible from being taken away by the virus.
The young nurse fights to keep her patient from being transported to the graveyard where thousands of corpses lie, and does all she can to keep the patient alive. While it appears to be too late to save the patient, despair sets in for the nurse, exhausted and feeling defeated, perhaps blaming herself that she can’t save the young woman. Nevertheless, she doesn’t give up, keeping her on the respirator desperately trying to steal the patient away from succumbing to the virus.
The patient wakes up freed from the deathly grasp of the virus. While the sun shines and flowers bloom – life looks hopeful. The doctors, nurses and other health care workers continue to save lives. Tragically, Nurse Amy becomes infected and falls ill, losing her own battle with the virus. A life lost for a life saved.
The film concludes with the virus lurking in the shadows, looking for more people it can take away from this earth.
I began working on this story and concept a few months ago, as we were not allowed to travel and had to stay in self-quarantine. Like everyone else, I didn’t understand what the virus was, since governments were not telling the truth about the rate of infections and the mounting deaths. As it moved from Wuhan China to the rest of the world, suddenly we were all fighting this enemy without knowing how it spreads and how to protect each other. All I knew is that death from infection was real, and if we didn’t follow strict protocols, it would continue to spread and kill people at an exponential rate.
I believe artistic creation follows the principle of artistic inspiration which always comes from life. This story started in China, but it’s no different from any country that is currently watching its people get infected and die. I end the story with the virus still lurking in the shadows because the virus hasn’t gone away, and depending where you are in the world, at this time, the peak is still coming, and even after it flattens, the virus will still be there, waiting patiently for people to let down their guard.
Themes of life and death have been explored by artists from ancient times to the present. Each artist uses their own artistic insight and comprehension of the world to interpret what they experience. I use symbolic characters represented by the patient, the demon and an angel. These characters show the strong desire to live, the horror of death, and the valour of fighting the demon to the end.
I want to make this film as a tribute to the sacrifices health care workers make for us. They are ordinary people, but they are extra-ordinary, too modest to call themselves heroes, not seeing themselves as life-saving angels. Completely altruistic, they put themselves in danger to take to care for us. They are in my eyes – Angels.
The nightmare of the pandemic continues, leaving a mark that will never be erased from our collective memory.