“Many suffer awareness like a fatigue but in Anastasia Erastova’s and Geraldo Arias’ film consciousness is light, elate, our global life, the breath of the planet — our community of awareness. It is in everything, everywhere and in everyone. And as we bathe in Anastasia’s imagery and terse poetic narration, slowly, quietly but powerfully, an elemental gratitude that we can perceive dawns on us and, it seems, across the earth. It’s a prayer upon the air. A birth of the un-mediated before our eyes, to refresh how we perceive, to free us from conventional mediation, given a dilated soul before experience. It’s magical but starkly real and startling (one might say we share her series of startlements), sheered of sentiment or self-consciousness but profoundly moving through pure lyricism. Guided by Jordanian camels, Laotian elephants, Finnish huskies, dancing Norwegian Northern lights (auroras), inter-lacing lightning, skyscraper silhouettes, accelerated commuter cameos, Georgian waterfalls, the quietudes of a Japanese bamboo forest, New Mexican hot air balloons, and white sand deserts … We follow her poetic witness to worlds and the universe. Since everything has always happened at once, and in the present, Anastasia and Geraldo reveal being as becoming in a kaleidoscope of simultaneity: spaces open then vanish, time as pure change unveils a revelation of rivers, deserts, mountains — and generous souls. Magnitudes and miniatures, vistas & a flower stamen here suggest, how we may re-awake to perceive anew, to allow events and lives to speak for themselves.
Anastasia’s and Geraldo’s film is, then, arguably about awe.
To quote from the first chapter of my Noticing and Awe:
“There are moments when nothing much is happening, about which it is impossible to tell a story to captivate our friends or capture social interest, an uncanny perception of the seeming mundane bent back to reveal the gift of perception itself. When we can feel or can nearly hear, or faintly touch, or mildly taste consciousness itself – this is awe.”
“Awe is the first noticing of the universe, whether it be a distant galaxy or the tip of one’s nose, the fundamental human condition stripped of inertia – “
“Love is noticing each other in awe.”
Anastasia’s and Geraldo’s originality reminds us that we are all original, that we must be so, if alive and breathing with — our once on earth. This is what we all born for, given our mortality, vision and first creativity: to notice with awe. “A Prayer Before Birth” and these brilliant young filmmakers offer (with élan) a gift, an ethos of gratitude, startling us back, to affirm each other, and humanity.”
– Dr. George Lee Moore Philosopher, Poet and Musician
“This movie was really visual which I really appreciated because I am a visual person rather than auditory than kinesthetic. That said, I have to say that I FELT this movie more than I saw it. Of course I can never really understand what you were trying to say specifically, but if you’ve left this movie opened to interpretation, then here it is: I felt like I was taken on a journey with an EXQUISITE resolution. The opening sequence which was just sounds really left me frustrated at first. At that point I hadn’t connected to the film yet or it’s meaning. I’ve been programmed to get instant gratification/understanding when interacting with media. Being left to my own devices and powers of deductive reasoning isn’t something given to me often in media. It was a gift. And I cherished it. When the orange colors came on, and the lava like sequence started, I settled back, relaxed, and just let the sounds and visuals wash over me. Understanding came when I perceived the fetus in the womb. All of the subsequent footage of this person living life, truly living, uplifted me. I felt myself quicken. I felt regret for my life which isn’t like that. Appreciative of her life and how much she was appreciating it. And grateful for seeing these sights of the world that I live in, but never see. I couldn’t understand the meaning of the voiceover, because it was so at odds with the visuals and joy taking place. But when the last word was said, I think it was “I can no longer hear it.” and the tone of the film changed to the other side of the coin basically, and what’s considered living now amongst so many, I thought I was beginning to understand. I don’t often experience anxiety, disquiet, or paranoia, but the sequence involving the pigs, city life, and increasing pace, was so eloquent of how MILLIONS of us hurdle ourselves at “goals”, at what we think is important, or what we have been told is important, that I felt trapped. This is my life, I thought. So busy with so little meaning. The image of the girl touching the flowers through the screen, social media, vr experience, all these computerized stuff, that’s how life is defined now for so many. It’s despair. It’s depressing. And it’s so destructive. We’re losing touch with each other. With our world. With our spirits and the things that should move us in healthy directions. And I felt so glad that she realized it, and fought her way back to the things that moved her spirit. Back to life. Like she was born again as the ending image indicated.
I cannot thank you enough for this. Right now I’m in Ramadan and I’m surrounded by spiritual and religious reminders, but this was an elemental reminder. And I feel like I’ve been reset. Like I’ve woken up too, and realized just how dead I am. My daughter is the only living connection, only thing that I live for that keeps me going. But your movie, helped me realize that I could be living so much more than I am, without disconnecting from my religion or my beliefs. I needed that. I think we all need that. And that’s all I have to say.
Except where can I buy this film?”
– Sakinah Zahran Home Health Aide