We’ve come so far since those early moments of the pandemic. As Barki pointed out in our recent Q&A conversation (part of The Contenders, and available on Virtual Cinema), we’ve lost our naiveté. As I write this, in February 2021, COVID-19 is still raging. The numbers in the US have surpassed 26 million reported cases, with the death toll surging past 400,000. Those lucky enough not to be counted in these statistics have gone about our lives with necessary adjustments: wearing masks and socially distancing, applying for unemployment, working from home while parenting, contributing to mutual aid initiatives, providing support for those around us who fall ill.
2 Lizards reflects the unfolding realities of the pandemic in real time. Using a combination of 3D animation and footage of New York City, each roughly three-minute episode illustrates the mundanities of quarantine life: rooftop hangouts, Zoom birthdays, the 7:00 p.m. clap for essential workers, the thrill of breaking social distance with a new lover. Barki and Bennani’s process was mostly inspired by their daily events and conversations with friends, whose viewpoints are included in the series through a cast of animated characters.