A stranded astronaut sends out a signal into space. One day that signal is answered with a message. Someone is out there and it changes everything for the isolated traveler, offering him a sense of connection and hope despite the vast emptiness of space around him.
Using charming animation and beautifully textured sound design by Ambrose Yu, director Katy Wang creates a spare, economical vignette that is simple, direct and straightforward in execution. But with loneliness as its central subject, the story — co-written with Gabriel Greenough — has an emotional weight and resonance well beyond its seven minutes. What emerges with each beat of the narrative is a love story with cosmic relevance, in both the literal and metaphorical senses of the world.
Using no spoken dialogue, Wang’s moving images capture both the somber solitude of space and the ebb and flow of the astronaut’s emotional trajectory with ease and grace. The animated visuals are textured and austerely beautiful, with heavy colors and simple yet sophisticated lines, making for an engaging visual experience. Combined with the almost somber emotions of the story, “Contact” feels almost like a fairy tale, with elemental but modern resonance.
The result is a genuinely delightful and heart-warming film about the importance of human connection and contact, no matter where anyone is in life or in the world. We all will feel alone at some point in life — it’s a prerequisite of the human condition. But even the simplest, tenuous connection offers hope that we are not alone in the world.