Joker actor Joaquin Phoenix stars in Guardians of Life, a short film made with Extinction Rebellion and Amazon Watch that urges action on the climate crisis.
Phoenix co-stars alongside a host of recognisable faces, including Stranger Things star Matthew Modine, Rosario Dawson and Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones), all of whom play doctors gathered around an unseen patient in a hospital emergency room.
In the short film, directed by Shaun Monson, Oscar nominee Phoenix is the head surgeon who asks for the patient’s history, to which one of his colleagues responds: “Wildfires approaching, she was frantic, collapsed.” The team then struggle to save their patient and bring her temperature down — before it becomes clear that the real patient is Earth itself.
Commenting on the film, Phoenix said: “It’s really a call to action. 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. People don’t realize there’s still time, but only if we act now and make sweeping changes to our consumption.
“We can’t wait for governments to solve these problems for us. We can’t wait until the election to try to make these changes. We have a personal responsibility to make changes in our own lives and act now.”
The short is the first of twelve in a planned series which will explore “the most pressing issues facing us in this vital decade for the survival of all life.” More Hollywood stars are expected to appear in the follow-up films.