Something invisible crushed by aging hands, an embryo floating above a desolate field, the statue-wrapped, god-like eye crashing into the ocean. Angel's Egg is a hauntingly beautiful film, collabortated on by Mamoru Oshii and Yoshitaka Amano in 1985. Giving a summary of the film is difficult, as there's hardly a followable plot. Besides, it's best first experienced by watching it yourelf.
What is certain is that the entire film relates to faith. Oshii was going through a crisis of his faith in Christianity right before the film's production, which heavily influenced its outcome. Even then, Oshii has stated that he's not even sure what the film is about. It's more of a collection of art and expression than a concrete story.
The film is available in full with English subtitles on YouTube, watch it here
Personal Thoughts / Interpretations
(MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)
I'm not the best at picking up on symbolism and metaphors the first time I watch/read/play something, but here's what I've concluded after a few days of deliberation and some minor recaps. I believe that not only does the film relate to the desperate clinging onto one's faith during crisis, but it occurs during a war. To me, it makes sense that someone would lose their faith during a war--especially if their god is supposed to be responsible for everything that happens, like how the christian god is.
The setting is utterly desolate in terms of population. There's flora, but no fauna, and the only people we ever see are the girl, man, and fishermen, soldier adjacent characters who come to life to throw spears at the shadows of huge fish. Of course, they're never able to actually harm the fish. They're literally chasing shadows. This reminded me of the futility of lots of wars, especially wars like the crusades. Killing for the sake of the christian religion.
The actual aesthetics of the setting--where they're not intense surreal, at least--remind me of the mid-1900s. Somewhere in western Europe, like France or Belgium. This leads me to believe it could have something to do with WWII, but that might be a bit of a stretch. WWII was over 40 years old by the time the film was released. I think it's more likely the architecture was purely an aesthetic choice to emphasize how odd the film's emptiness is.
At first, I thought the film could be about the girl losing her faith after (SPOILER ALERT) her egg is smashed. However, after she falls into the ravine, it appears that her god "rewards" her with dozens more eggs and a throne on the huge eye structure from the beggining of the film (as pointed out in this video by Chris Stuckmann). If anyone was dealing with a loss in faith during the film, it was the man. He's the one who smashed the egg, after all. He still seems in disbelief even at the end.
Everything I could say about the references to Noah's Ark, which is a huge part of the film, were already said in the video I've linked. Go check it out after you've watched the film!
Regardless of your interpretation, the film is absolutely gorgeous and worth a watch. It's only just over an hour too! When I say it's haunting, though, I mean it. There's something so terrifying yet graceful about the music and visuals. Maybe that's just me since I was scared by older animated movies A LOT as a kid because of their sound design, OSTs and dark color choices, but I don't think it is. I even say someone in the comments of the film say it was the quietest loudest film they'd ever watch--I think that sums it up pretty well! So just keep that in mind, and enjoy.