Emergence of Heart

Emergence of Heart (EOH) is a coming-of-age short film that shifts our national climate emergency conversations towards one of seeing ourselves and each other as part of a collective transformation. Instead of blaming big businesses, investing in technological solutions, or being in a paralysis of overwhelm, this film leans into the emotions and invites people as individuals to be part of a collective humanity.

EOH follows, but playfully decenters, Bea (they/them), a concerned, curious, and sensitive child, up to the days leading to their college graduation. When Bea receives a stuffed sloth for their seventh birthday, their eyes are opened to a planet in crisis and society’s ills for the first time, prompting them to grapple with what it means to be a responsible, white, queer, nonbinary human in America. We see Bea’s evolution through various interactions, including drowning bodies, ancestral ghosts, and loving family and friends. 

This project stirs up the emotional underbelly of the climate emergency by framing the climate crisis and systemic forms of oppression, such as white supremacy, as symptoms of a more profound wounding of domination, separateness, and power over others, both human and nature. The film highlights the shared roots and continuing effects of this pattern of domination and historically unequal power structures. Through Bea’s reflexive inquiries, the audience is actively asked to look inwards and put meaning into metaphorical imagery, priming audiences for a collective story-sharing session following the short film’s screening.

To catalyze a shift in how we address the climate emergency and its intersections with forms of oppression, our target audience are white liberals, college students, environmentalists, queer people, and those interested in mental health to weave a new story collectively. We aim to educate the public on issues such as the climate crisis and social justice innovatively as we unify a coalition of organizations, institutions, and individuals to shift the national narrative towards intersectional collective environmental and social healing and resilience. Following filming and editing, we will have a grassroots tour to screen our film and facilitate discussions to expand our reach and impact. Each screening will occur at educational institutions, churches, community-based organizations, and film festivals throughout the United States. 

During the impact campaign, the audience will be invited (virtually and in-person) to share their experiences with the emotional underbelly of the climate emergency, the repeating patterns of dominance, and how they are taking responsibility in being a human alive today. We aim to “feel to heal” through facilitated discussions and reflections as we capture and weave them together to create a mirror reflecting our country’s shared feelings. Through weaving together individual stories into a collective story of healing, we expect to see our audience and participants shift how they see themselves, as part of something greater, to bring about sustainable change in their personal lives and the lives of those around them. We intend to see an increase in community based activist and volunteer activity and a greater resiliency and new partnerships forming amongst existing community groups.