VR production company Vrse.works has once again partnered with the United Nations on ‘My Mothers Wing’, a 360 film designed to portray the resilience of he human spirit in the face of Israeli / Palestinian violence in Gaza.
Whilst the debate as to whether spherical 360 movies qualify for the status of VR, there’s no doubt that the best examples of immersive film-making are powerful and evocative platforms.
The United Nations certainly seem to believe this, as it’s announced its third 360 film ‘My Mother’s Wing’. Created by UN Advisor Gabo Arora, Vrse.works creative, Ari Palitz, and creative director and executive producer, Chris Milk, it was produced by Samantha Storr and Patrick Milling Smith. The VR short was commissioned as part of the UN’s advocacy at the World Economic Forum in Davos to state and business leaders, offering a unique perspective into the challenges and heartbreak of living on the Gaza strip.
“At the UN, we consistently strive to bring citizens’ perspectives into the decision making process anyway possible” said Gabo Arora, Senior advisor at the UN. “By leveraging breakthrough technologies, such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and explaining their situations.”
The film focusses on the life of a single Palestinian family, the mother of which lost two young sons in a school shelled during the devastating 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. Despite this tragic loss, the film highlights how the mother “channels her response to pain with resilience and tenderness.”
“We are very proud to be releasing ‘My Mother’s Wing’, our third VR experience made in collaboration with the UN”, says Vrse.works co-founder, Patrick Milling Smith. “On the surface, My Mother’s Wing is about a woman coping with the loss of her two children after an Israeli air strike bombed a UN school. She attends support groups, spends more time with her remaining children, and frets over their psychological fragility. Beneath the surface, however, it is about identifying the factors that contribute to cycles of violence, and how to disrupt them. The mission of our VR series with the UN is to create awareness and empathy for these situations and events. The films have been seen in over 40 countries and translated into 15 languages and has helped raise billions in direct support and funding. Shooting this film in Gaza feels like a watershed moment in VR. Giving people access to one of the most cut off, polarizing and politized places in the world is important. Our hope is that this film can also be about healing and hope. A mother’s story is universal.”
The film is available for viewing via the Vrse.works app, which is available on Apple iTunes, Google Play store and Oculus Gear VR store.