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The Second Breath Film


Introducing our recent film from the project The Second Breath, opening up conversation about Climate Change in fresh ways. Ways that hope to engage people to discuss further. And to then do something. Something active and quick.

This was filmed at Jacksons Lane in amongst Stumble’s residency for Transmissions last year. It was filmed and edited by Leeds based filmmaker Andy Wood and performed by Maddie McGowan and Jo Moss, with a sound scape of music provided by Kwah. It was co-commissioned by Imove in Yorkshire.

I am in two minds about the film. I think Maddie and Jo are great and I love Andy’s camera work, and I like what Rory (Kwah) did for sound. The hard thing is when you make something as an artist that has great intentions. The creative decisions start compromising the ‘message’ however hard one works to instead support the message. For me the jury is still out as to how to communicate about HUGE issues with art, in this case film, but often for me, with live performance.

The words are important to me so I am putting the two monologues up here to share as well.

Maddie McGowan

I had a house on the edge of a cliff
Perched like a Stork’s nest. I loved it.

Through the window I could see the gulls cawing and diving for fish out across the sea. From the clouds, swooping out of my view like a stone, falling from a height, breaking through the surface in the hope of a fish supper.

The air was bright and the sounds were fresh.

The elements were always there.

I had a garden. All sorts of beauty blossomed in the warm stream that breathed life over my beds. Rudbekia and Calendula. Crocosmia Lucifer, the colour of blood. Towering kniphofia. I have always loved that word.

First of all the land beyond the garden fence slipped away, and then the garden fence, with the honeysuckle still clinging to it. Then it was the Lupins, the Lilac, the Hibiscus and the Salvia. The soft sill of the cliffs crumbling in increasingly ferocious storms that battered my house.

I watched long afternoon after long afternoon. I watched it disappear.
I felt my house slipping away from underneath my listless feet.

My lovingly chosen wallpaper of climbing roses sledged downhill on the walls of the living room.

I mourned. The seasons changed and I no longer grew Agapanthus.
With my house in amongst the waves were all my hopes. So I gave up hope.
And this was boundless.

Gone with my hope goes my dormancy. I now know that they aren’t coming to protect us.
My fabulous release from waiting for things to get better. Now I make things better. Instead of pruning, I study.

Sometimes I feel exhausted and frustrated that such a tide of unreason breaches our defences.

It is happening, we can not hope that it isn’t. And how crazy it is, how exhilarating, how brilliant, to plant kernels of change and reason, instead of spores of guilt and denial.

Jo Moss


It is not true. The facts are incorrect. They are myths.

…Arguments built on a house of cards…

It is not happening. And even if it was, which it isn’t, it is a good thing.

It is not happening. And even if it was, which it isn’t, it is all hot air.

It is not happening. And even if it was, it is the opposite. And it doesn’t matter.

If it is happening, (which it isn’t) and it’s a good thing, then that is ok.

There is nothing that can be done about it.

And if there is nothing that can be done about it, then it can’t have been us, which of course it wasn’t and it isn’t.

Having said all that, it is happening and nothing can be done.

And that is right and proper.

It is as it should be.

And if it isn’t. Well, it is.

And even if it wasn’t. I can’t stop it. If it is happening. You can’t do anything. Little you. It is the way it is and there is nothing we can do.

And even if we could, which we can’t, well then we won’t, will we? Why should we? It wasn’t our fault.

And if it isn’t happening, then it must all be an illusion, a trick, a hoax

And what if it is all a hoax and we create a “better” world for nothing?

In summary: Relax. You don’t have to do anything.

So, to re-iterate. IT. IS. NOT. HAPPENING. It is not true. The facts are false.

They are myths.

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