Joaquin Phoenix’s short film with Extinction Rebellion urges action on climate change

Who is the patient?

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Guardians of Life, a short film made with Extinction Rebellion and Amazon Watch that pleads with viewers to take action on the climate crisis.

The Joker actor co-stars alongside a crowd of famous faces, including Marvel star Rosario Dawson, Stranger Things star Matthew Modine and Oona Chaplin from Game of Thrones.

All the actors portray doctors attempting to save a mystery patient lying on a hospital surgery bed.


The short film – it has a duration of 2 mins and 34 seconds – is directed by Shaun Monson and sees Oscar nominee Phoenix work as the lead surgeon who asks for the patient’s history, to which one of his colleagues responds: “Wildfires approaching, she was frantic, collapsed.”

The healthcare team struggles to save their patient and revive her heartbeat or bring her temperature down. After they called the time of death it became clear that the real patient is Planet Earth.

You can watch Guardians of Life here:

Commenting on the short film, Phoenix said: “It’s really a call to action. I did it to raise awareness about the meat and dairy industry’s effect on climate change.

“The fact is we are clear-cutting and burning rainforests and seeing the negative effects of those actions worldwide. People don’t realize there’s still time, but only if we act now and make sweeping changes to our consumption.


He added: “We can’t wait for governments to solve these problems for us. We can’t wait until the election to try to make these changes.

“We have a personal responsibility to make changes in our own lives and act now.”

The project is the first of 12 in a planned series which will explore “the most pressing issues facing us in this vital decade for the survival of all life” and should see more Hollywood stars in the follow-up films.