Unfolding is an experimental short film that reflects on the relationship between nature and humanity through an absurd ‘wellness session’. Set in the year 2070, the audience observes a session titled ‘Guided By Nature’ where a futuristic figure is instructed to undertake a variety of bodily positions and thought exercises at the instruction of an off-screen narrator.
Drawing upon the typical tropes of the 21st Century wellness industry, the session initially appears to be a harmonious and reassuring experience. Gradually, however, the session begins contradicting such expectations as it takes on an uncomfortable tone and thematic focus. Slowly the off-screen narrator is revealed to be a personification of air itself. Frustrated by playing the role of comforting guide, the narrator breaks from script and highlights humanity’s perilous yet essential relationship with the natural world.
Through reversing the typical human versus nature hierarchy, this film creates a meaningful opportunity to embrace imagination and reflect on previously ingrained assumptions towards the natural world. Through this film the audience is encouraged to reflect upon their previous perspectives towards nature as a passive agent. Instead, in this work, nature is acting upon them. In a time when ‘wellness’ is increasingly individualised, this work seeks to expand the perception of what wellness means when including nature in the equation.
The film officially premiered during the International Film Festival Karlsruhe from 19-23 April 2023.
Supported by Filmboard Karlsruhe