Angel’s Egg: The Child of Mamoru Oshii’s Alienation

Angel’s Egg was a truly amazing experience, and very much a product of Mamoru Oshii’s experience with the Christian faith. It was directed by Oshii and premiered in 1984. A lack of interest or understanding of Christianity will undoubtedly make this film less interesting, (and it is indeed a slow film) leaving it even more impenetrable to the typical Japanese audience. The film critic’s did not receive it well, and it was not a great selling film. It has never had an official release in the English language and has to be sought out through fansubs, despite being more than 20 years old. It showcases an attitude towards Christianity penetrated by deep understanding and personal experience, but also a clear crisis of faith.

The opening is truly cryptic, and one wonders what shall be the purpose of the film. A man stands on the beach while a steam powered vessel descends from the heavens, a vast heavenly city populated by dead statues. One soon finds a little girl running to and fro with an egg, and collecting jars of water for some purpose. Soon the man joins her. I finally realized the man carries a cross. And of course, the girls carries an egg, that she apparently has a great faith in.

The man rejects her faith, and tells the story of Noah, but with a tragic and far less hopeful ending. He is clearly not a Christ of the bible, but someone with much less faith. And as the film goes on, he reveals how utterly opposed he is to the faith the girl holds. He clearly holds a deep cynicism. He is not pure.

But still she holds to what she believes.

I want to avoid spoilers, so I will only say: watch this film to understand how much commentary a man who has struggled with faith can give on that struggle.

It is a cinematic experience, and will leave you thinking if you know what he is trying to indicate.