Well this is terrifying.
If you’re not already choking from the smoke of over 80 large wildfires raging in 13 states across the US as of right this minute, then here’s a reminder of just how urgent the climate crisis is. Filmed between 2017 and 2020, short film FIRE SEASON watches on as wildfires ravage California, while people calmly snap pics on their iPhones just metres away from the fires. Filmmaker Quinn Else originally had plans to make a horror film about an arsonist, before he realised that his footage of people interacting with disaster was a story in itself.
FIRE SEASON shows the calm and almost detached ways in which humans now deal with catastrophe—in an opening shot, a man smokes a cigarette next to a burning tree while Facetiming his friend, before being told to move away from the fire—as a direct result of smartphones controlling most aspects of our waking moments.
Narration is provided by a robotic Siri, who answers questions about wildfires in the US and climate change at large, while images of people surfing in thick blankets of smoke and haze offer themselves up as the new norm. FIRE SEASON isn’t flashy or overdramatised, because it doesn’t need to be—the reality of what we’re headed for is scary enough.
Watch FIRE SEASON below.