“Cleanse” (3:53 min.): Utilize pain to create something beautiful.
After losing two friends to drug-induced suicide (both 22-years-old) N.J. Phillips used the pain from loss to create “Cleanse.” To N.J. pain was a beautiful part of life meant to be embraced, not avoided.
The movie follows three figures- wooden, clay, and human- that inflict harm on themselves in a manner appropriate to their medium. The human, “man,” decides to channel his pain and uses the pain of the other figures to make a decorative clay bowl, bonding their experiences.
N.J. set constraints in order to better understand self-inflicted pain by shooting in opposing weather environments, working with unfamiliar mediums, and setting a strict time and crew restraint.
N.J.’s goal: positively redirect pain.