Carved from the Heart is a significant film that addresses a variety of pressing societal issues like personal loss, grief, substance abuse, suicide, and violence. The documentary is primarily about the healing process from a loss, pain, carving, to healing of the heart after a series of traumatizing events. The film explores deep questions of parenting, abuse of illicit substances, death, family, and community relations and effect of a variety of other issues apparent in a community like violence. Carved from the Heart highlights the role of various forms of art including visual, verbal, performing, and applied art in addressing social problems and enhancing cohesion.
Carved from the Heart is a film that depicts performing art. The skill enables the artist to incorporate body, voice or objects to communicate key ideas, feelings, thoughts, and emotions (De La Fuente 348). The film features a significant number of actors including Steve Marsden who emphasize the key ideas of the directors. Visual art is a significant form of communication as depicted through the totem pole Marsden carves in memory of his son. Similarly, in applied art the artist applies decorations and designs to readily available objects like walls, stones, and cars, to make them appealing. The decoration of space reserved for Marsden’s son represents an example of applied art. Verbal art is also present in the film in which it is submitted as folklore that forms the background music or soundtrack of the film.
The various forms of art play a significant role of conveying critical messages in the film. The documentary is a vital information source regarding vital social issues like drug abuse, death, and grief to a person watching it. Similarly, the movie highlights the crucial role of art in bringing people of common interests together. The totem pole Marsden erects, and songs unite people from various backgrounds to share their personal burden and achieve the common good. Art also functions as a medium that portrays the social aspect of people in terms of their lifestyle. A scrutiny of the film reveals that people value various forms of art, which they hang on their walls for decorative purposes as, depicted through the interviewed individuals.
Art can integrate or exclude people often in ritualized settings when addressing social issues as depicted in Carved from the Heart. Evidently, art is a universal language that brings people together, as manifested in the film. It can overcome cultural and ethnic differences by triggering the emotional and psychological aspects of people who feel the burden of common issues and see the need to address them. For example, because of the totem pole and pilgrimage Marsden designs to mourn his son, the rest of the people in the surrounding see the need to come together and address the common problem of substance abuse and its many implications. It also puts them through a healthy grieving process where they all talk about their issues and adopt measures for successful recovery.
The documentary, Carved from the Heart provides insight on the social issues prevailing in the society. It also serves as a resourceful reference to the understanding of how film can integrate art, in its purest form, to convey some of the pressing social issues like drug abuse, grief, and violence. Some of the most notable functions of various forms of art like providing the context of societal issues, informing, and getting people together to develop mechanisms for tackling these problems emerge.
De La Fuente, Eduardo. “The art of social forms and the social forms of art: the sociology-aesthetics nexus in Georg Simmel’s thought.” Sociological Theory 26.4 (2008): 344-362.
Kanopy Film Collection. Carved From The Heart A Portrait Of Grief, Healing And Community. https://www.kanopy.com/product/carved-heart-portrait-grief-healing-and-co. Accessed 9 Apr 2019.