CODA is a 9-minute film about a man who is unexpectedly killed, and asks Death to show him many things.
At first, he’s afraid of death, and attempts to bargain with it. He tries to run away, and asks for more time.
Death takes him through his life journey, digging into his senses and unfurling his feelings. All the while saying now (more), now (more), now (more).
And at the very end, when he’s exhausted, he’s ready for eternal slumber (although still asking for more).
And I think some people interpret it as him begging for a second chance, or “his life flashing before his eyes”, but I see it as Death following him throughout his first (and full) life.
That’s the concept that I get of Death from this. For all of us, Death isn’t waiting at the end of the tunnel of our lives, but following us through our journey.
Death is with us from the moment we’re born, but it is just watching, caring and non-intrusive.
What I really like is how they portrayed Death as motherly. Grim Reapers are always portrayed as huge masculine beings, chasing you and laughing in a really deep sinister voice.
Death in this animation is shown like a mother – gentle, patient, understanding, but still intimidating when it needs to be.
Death shows us the sky, the feeling of sun on our face, the rain on our cheeks.
We ask for more as we feel the softness of fur and smoothness of feathers.
We ask for more as we marvel ice and gaze at dancing fires.
We ask for more as we touch the cool screen of a phone.
We ask for more as we ride a bike, as we see the ocean, as our tongues touch ice cream, as we buy a new bag.
And all this time, Death is asking now.
It asks “now?” the first time oxygen fills our lungs.
It asks “now?” when we take our first steps.
It asks “now?” when we jump off a plane.
It asks “now?’ when we speak to people.
And that’s exactly how we live life. With the realization that Death can occur at any time.
The problem is, we forget that or we are distracted from that. We forget to absorb everything around us, we forget to marvel what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, feel with our skin.
So now the question is, do we stay aware and embrace every new thing that happens to us?
Or do we just breeze through each one?