short film shows how kindness can help depression


Touching short film shows how the smallest act of kindness can help someone with depression.

A gift from a friendly neighbor gives Nadine something to live for.

One small act can mean the world to someone.

Depression can be a dark and lonely place. And yet, even the smallest dose of compassion contains the power to help lift someone out of the fog.

Animator Emily Johnstone created a touching short film that brilliantly explores this concept.

As the story goes, according to The Marginalian, a physicist going through his own dark night of the soul was given a plant bulb in a small pot. The gift had unexpectedly helped him regain a sense of hope and purpose.

That (seemingly) simple gesture was shared by Johnstone’s college professor, and became the basis for “Bloom.”

In “Bloom,” a woman named Nadine is surrounded in darkness until she receives a small amaryllis bulb plant from a friendly neighbor across the street.

(Amaryllis flowers can represent determination as well as hope, which is a nice touch on the storyteller’s part.)

Nadine’s apartment consists only of dull black and white, with only the television serving as a light source. We see her shoulders slumped as her fingers lazily tap on the arm of the chair. It’s a blend of both lethargy and restlessness that many who are depressed can relate to.

In contrast, the neighbor's world is full of the happy, vibrant colors as she tends to her windowsill garden.

The neighbor sees Nadine from across the street, and waves boisterously. And though Nadine initially flees, this is not the end of their interaction.

A knock is heard. Nadine reluctantly opens the door to find the amaryllis.

As Nadine begins to care for her gift … light returns. Joy spreads. Both women gently wave to one other. A now revived Nadine sees another soul across the way, in the same depression she knows all too well.

With a new sense of grace, Nadine is now able to help this person in the same way she was helped.

It’s a simple story with a deep, profound message. Sometimes all it takes is one act of kindness from a stranger to make the world a warmer, brighter, better place.