Exploring loneliness and heartbreak on film

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      By Kasey Lum

      Bloom is a rumination on loneliness, heartbreak, and the profoundness of nature.

      At the centre of my short film is an emotional journey, as Laurel wades through the wreckage of love lost. Confined to her small apartment, this space serves as a metaphor for how she feels. Small, limited, isolated. But is Laurel really alone? Nature has always been a silent observer, an ancient witness to our joys and sorrows. As Laurel navigates her loss, the houseplant grows closer to her, reminding her that where there’s darkness, there is also light—and where there’s loss, there’s also yourself found.

      The idea for this film came at a time when I too felt a sense of heartbreak and isolation. At the start of the pandemic, the loss of socialization and connection to nature affected me deeply. It’s at this moment that I brought the outside in. I became a new plant owner.

      Observing plants and flowers and how they changed so quickly inspired the surreality within the film. It pushed me to think about the complex relationships we create with the world around us, whether it’s with people or nature, and how we take these relationships for granted.

      Filmmaking for me is about pushing boundaries to grow and improve. I think this film was an exceptional challenge in that regard. Specifically, I wanted to see how far I could go beyond realism and still feel grounded and relatable. It starts off as a breakup that transitions into emotional fragility, and spirals into chaos. In the end, was Laurel losing her mind or was she in the process of finding it?

      From an audience perspective, the film may just seem like a story about a breakup, or a sci-fi horror about an evil plant—but it’s much more. It’s a combination of so many things. Like the ambiguity and complexity of life, Bloom was made to reflect that.

      Kasey Lum is a BC-based filmmaker. His short film “Bloom” from Vancouver-based production company BOLDLY has been announced as a 2023 TIFF Short Cuts selection. It will have its world premiere in the programme on September 8.