Golden Time is a movie about an old TV from the 60s that ends up on the scrap heap for recycling alongside a bunch of other condemned objects. It comes as a shock to him that he has been discarded by his humans and he does everything to flee. Well, he tries to dig a hole under the barbed fence, make a hole in it and finally he tries to climb over it. None of his techniques works of course, he is stuck inside the damn recycling center.
He is not alone, there are other discarded objects such as a rewindable toy cat, a bucket with a hole [that is always filled with water because that is his purpose. He struggles hard with covering the hole, to make sure he doesn’t leak.], a fan that fans an overdue vane, a metallic chair missing the seat [that he sometimes tries to fill with things that look like a seat to be a complete chair again].
The cat tries, in his own way, to cheer the TV up but it doesn’t really seems to succeed that well. Not in the beginning at least. Things happen, the TV gets depressed and wants to end things.
I should stop here before I give away the whole movie. Yes, it is a movie. A 21 minute long movie about a scrap heap and its inhabitants. I would say that it is adorable and cute with the little cat, who constantly tries to cheer the TV up, and the bucket and his incontinence problems, but really, it isn’t. If you start to think about it closely you realise what’s really going on.
Take the TV. He goes through all the stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Denial: He refuses to believe that he has come to a place where no one wants to watch him again. Where he no longer is the center of people’s attention.
Anger: When the little toy cat plugs in him to a car battery he get’s angry and unplugs himself and scares the toy away. He also refuses to involve himself with the other objects at the junkyard. His anger drives him to try to find a way out. He returns to the fence over and over to find ways to escape. Digging, breaking, climbing.
Bargaining: He is still somewhat functional and at one point a truck loaded with TV’s that are going for recycling and not for destruction comes to the place he turns himself on to show that he is still alive and working. It doesn’t end up the way he thought and he is still there when the truck leaves, just a little less of what he used to be, which leads us to…
Depression: Well, life does turn black for him after the failed try to flee with the truck. He has some true friends in the other objects though, especially the cat, who saves him.
Acceptance: In the end he accepts his fate. He can’t do anything about it so he might as well stay where he are and live the life his friends do.
It’s not the end for him though. The end is heartwarming I think. It shows you how one thing can come to use in a whole other way than it was meant to be from the beginning. That’s how real recycling is supposed to be. But you better watch the movie to know what that is.
I like this little movie. It hits close to home with the recycling theme (I have after all a masters degree in environmental engineering) and the mental health theme. The animation is beautiful and a bit different from what we are used to see. The brown colors fit well with the theme. And the fact that there is no speech at all, just music, makes it perfect. No dialogue is necessary for a movie like this, you understand anyway by the actions and the music alone.
Watch it. It’s 21 minutes of your life, you have very little to lose. It’s on Netflix.