Ahead of the Oscars, Joaquin Phoenix stars in E.R. drama from climate protest group Extinction Rebellion

Rosario Dawson and Matthew Modine also feature in spot released in collaboration with Amazon Watch

Published On
Feb 06, 2020

Editor's Pick

Joaquin Phoenix is stars in a new film for climate protest group Extinction Rebellion made in collaboration with environmental pressure group Amazon Watch. 

In the online film, titled "Guardians of Life," Phoenix plays a surgeon in the ER trying to save a patient precipitously on the edge of death. He'd joined by a team of other doctors and nurses played by actors including Rosario Dawson, Matthew Modine and Oona Chaplin.

It's a scenario typical of medical dramas, with the team putting in their all only to see the patient flatline in the end. One of the medics then goes in for a last ditch attempt and we hear the beeping of the monitor start up again—suggesting that there might be life left. Ultimately, it's revealed that the patient is actually the Earth, identifiable through its burned out "organs"—the Amazon and Australia. And when that last heroic doctor removes her mask, we see she's an indigenous woman, played by actor Q’orianka Kilcher.

The film's script was created by Extinction Rebellion last October in Los Angeles. The ad arrives just in time for the Oscars, in which Phoenix is a high-profile nominee for Best Actor for "Joker." The actor has a history of activism, including calling out racism in the entertainment industry while making his BAFTA acceptance speech last weekend. He was recently arrested at a protest organized by the actress Jane Fonda in Washington DC, where he spoke about the link between climate change and animal agriculture. 

“It’s really a call to action," Phoenix said about the ad in a statement. "I did it to raise awareness about the meat and dairy industry’s effect on climate change. The fact is we are clear cutting and burning rainforests and seeing the negative effects of those actions worldwide."

The director, Shaun Monson, added that he felt "compelled' to make the film as previous documentary style PSAs had failed to move audiences to take action. “Instead of focusing on deforestation, ice melting and species extinction, we use a story as a metaphor," he said. "The Amazon has been called the lungs of the world, or the heart of the world, but instead of documentary footage we proposed an ER setting with doctors and nurses trying to save an unseen patient with systemic heart failure."

Airing online, with the aim of driving traffic to a fundraising website, it's the first in a series of 12 planned films by Extinction Rebellion, which has been behind a series of wide-scale protests in London last year, as well as at events including Cannes Lions, where activists were arrested. Future films will also feature Hollywood stars, the organization confirmed.

Credits

Date
Feb 06, 2020
Client:
Extinction Rebellion
Client:
Amazon Watch
Written and Directed by:
Shaun Monson
Starring:
Adria Arjona
Starring:
Oona Chaplin
Starring:
Rosario Dawson
Starring:
Albert Hammond Jr.
Starring:
Q'orianka Kilcher
Starring:
Matthew Modine
Starring:
Joaquin Phoenix
Production:
Nation Earth
Produced by:
Anjia Lill
Produced by:
Alec Pedersen
Produced by:
Shaun Monson
Executive Producer:
Jonathan Mintram
Executive Producer:
Mobilize Earth
Music by:
Caleb Etheridge
Courtesy of:
ARTLIST
Edited By:
Alessio Schiazza
Edited By:
Alessio Schiazza
Edited By:
Shaun Monson
Visual Effects:
SCANLINE
With Gratitude to:
Stephan Trojansky
VFX Supervisor:
Brennan Prevatt
DMP Supervisor:
Damien Thaller
Digital Production Manager:
Isaac Lipstadt
I/O Coordinator:
Wendy Hulbert
RotoPaint:
Melissa Huerta
Production Manager:
Tara Alexis
Production Coordinator:
Erica Eden
First Assistant Director:
Adrian Rozas Cristino
Second Assistant Director:
Sonia Aban
Assistant Director P.A.:
Sean Poolman
Set P.A.'s:
Katie Noonan
Set P.A.'s:
Austin Swain
Director's Assistant:
Mira Jade
Director of Photography:
Shaun Monson
Camera Operator:
David Hauver
Camera Operator:
James Lucarelli
Camera Operator:
Tanner Woodward
Camera Operator:
Jeffrey Reyes
Camera Operator:
Larry Leyretana
Digital Imaging Technician:
Alessio Schiazza
Behind the Scenes:
Misha Winter
Behind the Scenes:
Todd Snyder
Medical Advisor:
DR. Joel Kahn MD
Gaffer:
Albert Gonzalez
Key Grip:
Mike Galdamez
Best Boy Electric:
Carlos Ceja
Swing:
Zac Lachenbrunch
Swing:
Adam Mitrano
Production Designer:
Victor Capoccia
Art Director:
Christina Phensy
Set Dresser:
Sheldon Powell
Set Dresser:
Joe Moceri
Sound Designer / Re-Recording Mixer:
Eric Raber
Sound Mixer:
Lincoln Morrison
Boom Operator:
Dennis Scwietzer
Make-Up & Hair:
Hannah Reed
Make-Up & Hair Assistant:
Kait Matlock
Make-Up & Hair Assistant:
Amanda Bourne
Hair Stylist:
Haley O'Neil
Costume Stylist:
Alex Waldron
Catering / Craft Service:
Nickie Mingarelli
Catering / Craft Service:
Eileen Popovich
Food Truck Catering:
Phil Bennett
Food Truck Catering:
Vurger Guyz
Food Truck Catering:
Ethan Brown
Food Truck Catering:
Beyond Meat
Stand Ins:
Cody Bushee
Stand Ins:
Gabriela Carrera
Stand Ins:
Natalie Conneely
Stand Ins:
Michel Euliss
Stand Ins:
Naima Jackson
Stand Ins:
Nadia Quezada
Stand Ins:
Thomas Terlecki
Location Producer:
Asher Brown
Location / P&E:
Pollution Studios
Stage Manager:
Tasia Judd
Trucks / Prod. Supplies:
LINE 204
Props:
Alpha Props
Construction Team:
Strong Arm
Production Insurance:
Mark Buchan
Sustainability Partner:
Good Planet Innovation
Sustainability Partner:
Michael Kaliski
Sustainability Partner:
Parker Dickey
Special Thanks To:
Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation
Special Thanks To:
Artists for the Amazon
Special Thanks To:
The Catalyst Foundation
Special Thanks To:
Environmental Media Association
Special Thanks To:
La Animal Save
Special Thanks To:
Climate Save Movement
Additional Thanks To:
Gabbie Buchan
Additional Thanks To:
Marc Ching
Additional Thanks To:
Katie Cleary
Additional Thanks To:
Amy Jean Davis
Additional Thanks To:
Matthew Glover
Additional Thanks To:
Anita Krajnc
Additional Thanks To:
Constantin Philippou
Additional Thanks To:
Babak Razi
Advisor:
Andrew Miller
Advisor:
Paul Paz Y Mino
Advisor:
Christian Poirier
Advisor:
Julia Jaye Posin
Advisor:
John Quigley
Advisor:
Leila Salazar-Lopez
Advisor:
Atossa Soltani
Press:
Beverly Luckings
Press Secretary, Spanish Language Media:
Larch Maxey
Press:
Howard Rees
Translation / Subtitles:
Extinction Rebellion Translation Team
Shot on:
Red Cameras + Schneider Lenses & Optics

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Project Type