28 Jul 2017

Noah Conopask's 'Hero' scores Creativity's Editor's Pick

In a sobering PSA for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a young boy at first appears to be having fun with his parents building an astronaut costume and spaceship.

The parents lovingly help him craft the ship and the costume, but as he heads out into the garden to get into it we start to see that this is only a fantasy -- the real situation at home is one of violence, and his way of escaping the trauma is to imagine himself as an astronaut, blasting off into space. The ads end with the words: "A dad is a son's first hero" after we see the boy cowering under a table with his spaceship toy as his parents fight.

For director Noah Conopask, the film is autobiographical. He commented in a statement: "The boy is me. I had to make it. Children look up to their parents. Even if they don't want to. I hope that I can inspire action in those who may be broken or hurt and are acting in this way. I hope I can stir them to look at themselves and recognize what it is doing to their child, their family and themselves."

The film aims to highlight that kids who witness abuse can suffer permanent changes to their personalities. In the U.S., one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

This review was published by Creativity Online as its Editor's Pick on 27 July 2017.