THOU - DAWN of CONSCIENCE
Fantasy - 9 min. - 2017 - View Credits
Synopsis: Two angels of death come from the earth to do their dirty work until one of them can't.
Director’s Statement: I believe that the root of most atrocities in the world is dehumanisation. If I can see the other as an "it," a "thing," a “soulless creature,” I can gas them, enslave them, exterminate them, torture them, but as soon as I take the time to look, I begin to see a "thou," the other is in some core way like me. I can no longer hurt them without simultaneously hurting myself.
THOU is a silent short film about dehumanisation told through the experience of Azrael, an angel of death. Azrael has a purpose. He comes from the earth to do his work. He takes souls. But he gets curious. He wonders why most cling so desperately to life. That wondering, that attempt at understanding the other, is the beginning of empathy, for Azrael as for most of us. Inevitably, he beings to feel for the other, for the human. As he does, he can no longer take a soul. Something has changed. He feels his own being, feels his soul as he beholds the other with love.
Azrael’s story is our story, the story of the evolution of consciousness; from the primordial reptile to a being capable of great love. We take this journey numerous times throughout our lives. At times we feel rage, hatred, and fear that compels us to dehumanise the other. The trigger can be as simple as being challenged ideologically or cut off in traffic. At other times we’re capable of self-sacrifice beyond any immediate benefit to self. The difference is in how we choose to behold the other; as an "it," a nuisance, a threat, or an obstacle or a "thou," one like us, at times vulnerable, confused, scared, or lonely.
2018 - Gold Remi Award - 51st Annual Worldfest-Huson International Film Festival
2017 - Best Score - August - Los Angeles CineFest
2018 - Best Experimental Film/Official Selection - Prague International Film Festival
2018 - Official Selection - Chicago Blowup Film Festival
2018 - Official Selection - Directors Circle Festival of Shorts
2017 - Official Selection - Roma Cinema DOC