In a not so bright future humans have disappeared due to a disease. The century is now inhabited by robots. It is how Elliot, one of the robots meets Mia – another machine surviving the apocalypse. As they make friends, Mia discovers her new friend has a human brain and triggers his memory. They will set off a quest in search for Elliot’s past.

Ying Wang’s short animation ‘Rusted Soul explores the grim future foreseen for the human kind as a result of man’s inability to preserve their own humanity – as Elliot is perceived as a rather worthy experiment than a survivor that needs to be protected (so again human greed and egoism feed ignorance leading to destruction instead of salvation). Elliot’s instinct to inquire about his past is motivated not only by his need to trace back his ‘roots’ but also by a vivid memory of a beautiful girl. Love, therefore, becomes the driving force and main instrument in rediscovering humanity and reaching after it. Elliot’s character symbolises the rusted soul celebrating in numbness, inheriting only a mechanical reflex derived from what used to be a powerful experiencing of love. But when the rusted soul eventually becomes aware of the desolation it caused and that reverberates on his own being, it starts to ache for ‘life’ again.

‘Rusted Soul’ can be looked at as to a personal story of a character who miraculously survived apocalypse by being separated by his human form and qualities (where positive emotion nurtures a good psychical help – who would be able to psychically endure a desolated environment), but it can also be regarded in an allegorical way as a mean to point out to the strongest value of all: love – only this time from a futuristic perspective. 

Ying Wang’s film is nevertheless quite epic. Within a duration of barely over four minutes, the filmmaker manages to smartly and concisely cover a broad story, establishing the main’s character history, his present condition and set out the perspectives for his future managing to shape up a complex narration in a simple way. A simple but worth watching animation perceiving love as the chord capable to preserve and relaunch itself in order to refurbish the threads that make us human.