- Jichun Qin
Song of the Sea
Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of happiness -Lao-tzu
Song of the Sea is an animated film about adults trying to protect children but doing more harm than good. A boy (Ben) and his sister (Saoirse) who has magical powers live with their father on an island. Saoirse and all the world of magic is in danger when she is kept away from her coat, from nature, and from her emotions.
One night, Saoirse finds a coat which her father keeps in a box. When she puts it on, she becomes a seal and gets her freedom and a whole new magical world. Without her coat, she feels sick and cannot talk. She could even die without it. This magical coat is just for her: it gives her power and protects her from danger. But her father doesn’t understand how the coat works and he throws it away.
On Saoirse’s birthday, her grandmother comes to the island to celebrate this special day. She also has another purpose: to take the two children to the city. She wants them to live with her in the city because she wants them to be safe. But Saoirse needs nature. She puts on her grandmother’s coat because she wants her magical coat again. She wants to swim again and to go back to the magical world so she can be free.
Macha is a magical owl who wants to catch Saoirse’s emotions and to repress them in magical jars. Macha thinks it is better for Saoirse. But she is totally wrong. Saoirse becomes sicker day by day. Ben finds out from a magical storyteller that Macha wanted her son not to be in pain. That is why she takes emotions away. Ben makes Macha understand that people will die without their emotions. In the end, Macha changes her mind and helps the children go back to the island. When Saoirse puts on her coat again, she can sing and swim and be free. She frees the whole fairy world.
Adults need to give children space to express their emotions and they should not protect them too much. This is true for adults too. Repressing emotions does more harm than good.