If you liked Les Mis, you’ll love this. Or absolutely hate it.
I suppose this post is about my faith in art to shape the future. It is also about my often daunted faith in humanity to gradually see itself more as it really is, not merely as it is in dreams and delusions. It is also about faith in the good in humanity, the humanity of humanity. After all, somebody made this art about humanity, this video of listening to animals singing about a broken dream, a shamed belief, a shattered hope. Somebody saw our place in that process. Many people do. So there is hope for us yet. If you watch this 3-minute flick with an open heart, somebody is you, because we are what we eat.
“It’s about the GOOD in humanity?” you may scream when you see this video. This video is about good humanity?
Yeah, it’s not easy to say when you finish watching it. Then comes the art of it, art from humanity to show us ourselves through eyes of other Earthlings. Don’t feel sorry only for the animals. Feel sorry for the soul-blind humans, and heal them. It is not hard for me to think of humanity as a cancer on the earth, except that I am one, and we have all this great art, with its passion, compassion and insight. We’re so mixed up. It’s a wonder there isn’t a psychologist in every drug store.
I don’t really want to describe this 3-minute award-winning “Dream” video from the annual international Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in 2016. I want it to rock you unawares.
The festival will be held this year in New York City, October 17-24. There will be over 100 films from 40 nations. See their calendar for events this year in Sao Paolo, Brazil, California, Vassar College, China and in the Peruvian Upper Amazon region. Learn more at wcff.org. WCFF says it has no paid staff. It is an all-volunteer organization.
I’ll describe it this much, for the record, and for people unable to watch it, at least not now: This animated video is about four threatened or endangered animals singing “I Dreamed a Dream” (from Les Miserables) and showing contrasting images of their lives when thriving and when assailed by threats to their environments by human activity.
WARNING: The film is painful throughout its three minutes. It obviously is intended to hurt. You will never forget the two rhinoceroses, and will forever see rhinos as cuddly as pandas when your heart gets done hugging these two, from the most human of your humanity, the art of you.
The lyrics are below.
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/RjMzXykfbm8
The vocalists and their roles:
- Rhino: Natalie Bergman — See the World Wildlife Fund site with photos of the two rhino movie stars and their story in real life. There are five rhino species, ranging from threat statuses of “Vulnerable” to “Critically Endangered.”
- Blue Whale: Ryan Merchant — Up to 100 feet long and up to 170 tons, this is the largest animal ever known to live on earth, now officially in Endangered status. 100 feet is the height of a ten story building, the length of about six cars. But their diet is only two kinds of little crustaceans about two inches long. It takes over 2,000 pounds of food to fill their stomachs. Their newborn are over 20 feet long, 30 tons, and eat 200 pounds of food a day. And you thought YOUR kid was special. Good thing your kid doesn’t live in the warming ocean.
- Brown Pelican: Keenan O’Meara — The Louisiana State Bird, recovered from Endangered status, but facing new threats, such as 6,000 of them killed by the Gulf Oil Spill, among over a million birds killed; including, the Audubon Society says, “36 percent of the entire Laughing Gull population in the northern Gulf of Mexico died within that 95-day period. Fifteen percent of Royal Terns perished, as did 12 percent of Brown Pelicans.“
- Baby Seal: Tal Altman (assumed to be one of the four most endangered seal species)
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed
Songwriters: Alain Albert Boublil, Claude Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer, Jean Marc Natel. Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
DREAM FILM CREDITS (according to adstasher.com):
Producer: DDB New York
Chief Creative Officer: Icaro Doria
Creative Director: Thiago Carvalho
Head of Art / Creative Director: Bruno Oppido
Art Director: Guilherme Rácz
Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Lucas Casão
Head of Production: Ed Zazzera
Senior Producer: Amanda Van Caneghem
Senior Account Executive: Matthew Leach
Music / Talent Manager: Linda Bres
Music / Sound Design: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Jean-Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer
Music / Sound Design / Final Mix: Mophonics
Animation Production / Directed By: Zombie Studio
Executive Producers: Natália Gouvea, Paulo Garcia