The premise of the Tide Keeper is simple: “One night an old seaman dreams the ocean into his bed. His sea green sheets become the polluted waters of his worst nightmare. His own mortality is at risk as his household objects begin to suffocate him.”

The premise is simple, but the reality is far more complex. This film, inspired and performed by the filmmaker’s father, speaks to the nature of longevity, of impact, of rebirth, of sustainability, of the environment. The filmmaker’s father is an anthropologist and an environmentalist, with a special focus on ecology. This film represents his real-life nightmares, brought to a trash-filled reality.

In only a few short moments, the film drives home issues of consumerism and materialism in a way that few things can. You’ll be left uneasy, but all the more thoughtful for it. You can see the whole thing here:

Without saying a word, this short film manages to communicate so much. There’s a reason it’s won a litany of awards and made a splash on the festival circuit. Sustainability and the environment are issues that we are all aware of, but so few of us seem able to really connect with and appreciate them. The Tide Keeper hits you head on — and leaves you no choice.

We can’t ignore what’s going on with our planet or our ferocious levels of consumption — because pretty soon, we’ll be drowning in it.