The short, lyrical film Solastalgia from director Millefiore Clarkes and poet Tanya Davis premiered online on CBC’s GEM streaming platform (gem.cbc.ca) as part of a curated series of environmental films for Earth Day 2020.
The word ‘solastalgia’ is a neologism that describes a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change, coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht.
The film explores the inner turmoil that news of ecological collapse can impart upon the human psyche—while simultaneously celebrating the earth as an interconnected organism.
It weaves the poetry of Tanya Davis together with a dramatic storyline, archival footage, and a rich soundscape—created by sound artist Simon White. The film’s soundtrack incorporates music by Philip Glass, Devon Ross, and Russell Louder. Actor Rebecca Parent plays Ava, a mother of two young children who navigates her day while being bombarded by the catastrophic news of the effects of climate change. Her mental health unwinds as she searches for a way to move forward through despair.
The aim of this film is to reach people on an intimate, poetic and emotional level. It humanizes the issue of climate change and ecological collapse in a way that all people can relate to, thus opening consideration, connection and dialogue across borders.
Solastalgia has screened at festivals across Canada including the Vancouver International Film Festival and The Atlantic International Film Festival. It received the ‘Best Short Film’ award at Silverwave Film Festival. It has been selected to participate in more festivals internationally in 2020.