“Terra Mater,” a short film written and directed by Kantarama Gahigiri, delves into the harsh realities of the trauma inflicted upon the Earth by human actions.
With a unique narrative style, the film explores the stark dichotomy between stolen, contaminated, and ravaged lands versus rich, fertile, and sacred ones.
The cinematography by Daniel Bleuer, coupled with Jules Claude Gisler‘s editing, contributes to the film’s distinctive and artsy look. Despite primarily showcasing a landfill dumping site, the visuals are surprisingly tasteful. The classic 4:3 aspect ratio enhances the film’s aesthetic, creating a visually compelling experience.
Accompanied by ambient sounds and poetic narration, “Terra Mater” weaves a narrative that raises critical questions about the impact of technology and waste on our environment. The inclusion of an Afrocentric techno-styled beat adds a futuristic dimension to the film, creating a unique atmosphere that eases you along its limited runtime of 10 minutes.
One noteworthy scene features an angry mob chanting phrases like ‘Stop,’ ‘We demand respect,’ and ‘Leave us.’ This may symbolize acknowledgement that industrialization and technology while bringing progress, have also contributed to the harm inflicted upon the land.
Gahigiri, through narration, attempts to connect the dots between colonization, capitalism, and climate change. The film prompts viewers to reflect on whether these factors play a role in the current environmental predicament or if such connections are too far-fetched.
In its concise runtime, “Terra Mater” serves as a poignant reminder of humanity’s destructive impact on the Earth through waste. The film advocates for better protection and restoration of the Earth, emphasizing the importance of placing the land first. The message may not be overt, but it is clear. Our relationship with the land needs reconsideration and it has to be now.
While “Terra Mater” may be considered too experimental for some viewers, it serves as a necessary format for conveying messages about environmental protection. The film sparks essential conversations about how we treat our home, urging audiences to contemplate their roles in the ongoing environmental crisis.
Despite its commendable qualities, the film may fall short of delivering a more substantial impact particularly because of its style which might not be appealing to everyone.
While it effectively raises awareness, it leaves audiences desiring a more in-depth exploration of the themes presented.
Nonetheless, I would score “Terra Mater” 3 out of 5 stars. It is a thought-provoking piece, but it doesn’t offer enough depth to fully satisfy all of its viewers.