The Wheel is a new short film from Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman. Shot on location in the Californian desert in 2018, is a depiction of one woman’s experience of radical compassion in the face of death.
The film opens with Clay and Rose in a motel as they languish in the quiet moments after sex in a hotel room. As the conversation turns to near death experiences, Clay tells his story of a rodeo accident in which he nearly lost his life. When asked about Rose’s near death experience, we see her car beside her car breakdown on the desert highway. An ominous man stops to pick her up and we immediately get a terrifying sense as we see an unthinkable situation unfold before our eyes.
Each of the three character’s featured provides a unique perspective on suffering, empathy and liberation and its these themes that drive the film forward. Even the title itself, The Wheel, has multifaceted meanings and exists in several contexts — Similar to the situations that we see the characters go through.
On writing the script Tillman explains her motivation for creating this film, ‘The stories in the media at the time made me want to write something that was rooted in the specific wisdom of women, or of the feminine in general. Taking that idea to its most extreme conclusion was revealing for me in a variety of unexpected ways.’
The film is available to view online for free via her website here where you can also find out more about her work and practice.