Following a blaring siren, physician-filmmaker Monica Kidd opens her haunting National Film Board–produced short with a passage that resonates with so many of us.
"We have become obsessed with endings, isolation," she says in "The Storm".
"We are afraid of others. We are pointing fingers at our neighbours, turning away from each other in the streets."
She likens these feelings to her own fears in youth of funnel clouds appearing on the Prairies where she grew up. These formations represented potential catastrophe.
Then there is the terror faced by some mothers on the verge of having a baby, which Kidd explores so intimately and with such precision. She knows the subject well, having helped women through this monumental event in their lives.
Animator Duncan Major's simple and crisp images meld well with Kidd's evocative juxtoposition of the pandemic with Prairie storms and childbirth. It's presented so directly and honestly, with Isabelle Riche's sound design and original musical composition adding the requisite intensity.
Like many real storms, this film passes quickly while leaving deep feelings in its wake, thanks to the exceptional writing.
Kidd, a former CBC Radio broadcaster, clearly understands how authentic and heartfelt announcing can create a mood.
Think of Alan Maitland's intros on As It Happens in a bygone era. Fireside Al also offered comfort to the nation through his short stories. Then there was the great Stuart McLean, who kept people from coast to coast entranced through his clever monologues on CBC.
They have a worthy successor in Kidd. Someone at the Mother Corp. needs to give her a weekly platform.