A last flower portraits a diary entry of fictitious character Hana, a teenager living in an alternate reality where currently a lockdown is also happening. The short film "A Last Flower" portraits her experience in quarantine, the interactions she has with a holographic flower device, her thoughts & wishes for the time after the lockdown & digital coping mechanisms that she embraced in these uncertain times at home.
A Last Flower, short film
Its day 120 of the stay-home quarantine. The ambulance sirens are howling. I'm not sure if there are more ambulances moving around the city or if I'm just more aware of their sound reverberating through the empty streets. Although the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising, I haven’t been outside for the last 60 days. You are only allowed to go outside if you have a particular reason. I realised for myself that there is no need to go out anymore. Everything I need is already available digitally, and every day a new startup fills in the remaining gap to not only work but also to live entirely from home.
I still join online classes but mostly put the teacher on mute and instead listen to the 24/7h stream of lo-fi beats to chill & study to while doodling around in my notebook. I started thinking a lot about myself, the world we live in, and what seems to be truly important to me. I realised that a lot of the interactions I had with others were just commodities that I didn’t really enjoy anyways. The only thing that I miss sometimes are the blooming flower fields in spring outside of the city.
"What's on your mind, Hana?"
I recently acquired this scientific-looking pot where somehow a holographic plant grows every day. It comes with an app that asks you a simple question every morning after you wake up. Apparently, an algorithm then turns these thoughts into a unique flower that slowly starts to bloom throughout the day before it wilts after 24 hours. It feels a bit like you plant a seed each morning & only add a bit of water for it to grow. You can either keep the flower for yourself or send it to a friend. And each day there is a new flower connected to a single thought or daydream or whatever. There are no real instructions of what you can and can not record.
In the app, you also have a log of all your past flowers or the once sent to you by friends. The messages behind the flowers fade away after 24 hours, but a snapshot of the flowers stays remaining. While looking through my virtual garden, I still remember some of the thoughts that I had, others I forgot. Maybe these thoughts weren’t that important anyway.
Hana's little garden
That said, everything is temporary. I’m wondering if this thing will still be relevant when this whole situation is over. When we are allowed to go outside again and interact with others. How will the world look like? Will there still be time to see the daffodils blooming? And will eventually everything just go back to “normal”?
Somehow, I don’t miss the old days...
Maybe it’s time to move on – to blossom like a flower that doesn’t need light but just a bit of water.