Ben Masters’ film Deep In The Heart, narrated by Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey, premieres worldwide on opening night at the 2022 EarthX Film Festival.
The 2022 EarthX Film Festival is a four day kermesse featuring film, music, events and interactive environmental programs set in the heart of Dallas Arts District; taking place from May 12th until May 15th. After the pandemic forced us to stay indoors, the festival chose the theme “A Celebration Of The Outdoors.” The intent is to allow Texas and the Southwest to join the conversation on climate change, bringing awareness of the environmental crisis.
The opening night film succeeds in inspiring global change through a local narrative connected to the territory of the Lone Star State, famous for its BBQ, live music and hot weather: Texas. Deep In The Heart is a visually impressive celebration of this land. Director and writer Ben Masters — who is specialised in wildlife and adventure stories and won the SXSW 2019 award with his feature documentary The River and The Wall — stunningly paints a cinematic portrait of Texas. The narrator of this extraordinary journey in moving pictures is one of Hollywood’s most successful actors and the quintessence of the Texan man: Matthew McConaughey.
If the 2013 Texan biographical drama about Ron Woodroof, Dallas Buyers Club, lead McConaughey to the Oscar for Best Actor, Deep In The Heart allows spectators to have his soft-spoken narration take them by the hand to explore the wonders of his homeland. He leads us through the diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife that is unique to this part of the world and is glorified by the exceptional, state-of-the-art cinematography by Austin Alvarado, Ryan Olinger, Shannon Vandivier, Hayes Baxely, Patrick Thrash, Brian Moghari, Peter Kragh, Filipe Deandrade, Christian Von Preysing, Michael Stangl. Particularly impressive is the way they capture on camera the desert of blue of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
The documentary traverses a visual expedition through the perspective of wildlife species ranging from the mysterious blind catfish to the elusive mountain lion, from the graceful white-tailed deer to an animal so rare that it has become mythical: the ocelot, the medium-sized spotted wild cat. But there are more creatures from this bewitching land, like armadillos, black bears, salamanders, Bracken Cave bats, falcons, bison and the Guadalupe bass.
Amongst the notable humans in Texas’ conservatorship, Deep In The Heart brings to the light the story about an inspirational woman: Mary Ann Dyer “Molly” Goodnight. She was an American cattle woman who took it upon herself to rescue baby bison left behind by hunters, soon establishing the Goodnight buffalo herd.
One of the film’s principle supporters is Texan by Nature (TxN) — founded in 2011 by former First Lady Laura Bush to unite landowners, business, conservation, and civic leaders who believe Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural resources.
Producers Katy Baldock and Jay Kleberg, with the entire production team, have accomplished an effective family-friendly film that unveils the wonders of Texas. Deep In The Heart is a filmic paean to all living things populating the canyons, aquifers, valleys and bays of this beguiling part of the United States.
Final Grade: B-