The Passengers


The Passengers

Featuring: WIFE (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, Nina McNeely)
Written and Directed by: Benjy Russell
Cinematographer: Nathan Kim
Editor: Juan Palacio
Music + Voice: Robbie C. Williamson
Costumes: Moonspoon
Makeup: Blake Armstrong + Littlerock
Stylist: Briana Gonzales

Special Thanks:

John Toba and Emma Reeves/MOCAtv
Dino Dinco
Lita Albuquerque
Joshua Harron
Steven Synstelien

The Passengers was born out of a need to try and make sense of the cycle of life and death. This perpetual evolution that's been happening since the moment matter was born. Three months prior to the making of The Passengers, my beautiful husband passed away. When he first passed I was able to physically feel his presence everywhere around me. I heard him in the next room, I felt his presence enter the room I was in, I would wait for him to return home. At some point this very real feeling just stopped. When that happened I was trying to figure out where he was, what form he was taking, or if there were small pieces of him everywhere and in everything.

The only theory that made sense to me, was that he was merely energy that had been poured into this body for use in this chapter of his story. One of the properties of a liquid is that it holds the shape of whatever container it's in. Like a liquid, he's taken on a different form now that he's been poured into a different container.

It was important to me to have the poem spoken over the video, to guide the viewer while settling them into a state of hypnosis. It's a love story that begins before time itself. It tells the story of the birth of the need for the other, and how out of this need came the union, and how out of that union came everything. Never having an ending, only an infinite number of new beginnings.

So much of our preconceptions of life and death are just a byproduct of our flawed sense of self and consciousness. From these flaws we've created such a myth/misconception about what is our final form(as if there could ever be such a thing). We are more than this chapter. We are more than these containers. We're not the vessel. We are the passengers.

Here's a full transcription of the poem being read over the film:

The Passengers

We are the beginning of thought

a theory of immortality in constant flux

Our birth was the death of another

the transference of light and consciousness

liquid spilling from one container into the next

microscopic evaporation as we leave a trail of stars in our wake

In this beginning there was no space

only you

and we

matter and antimatter falling endlessly in love

we were neon when there wasn’t

we are the ancestors of religion

existing where there is no language

we are inhabited by entire universes

just as we inhabit this space. space. space.

we birthed light, energy, and matter

the first sensual creation we gave to you

the rest we gave to everything else

we have never needed nor wanted until we were given you

you were everything

and we were no longer alone

now the cord has been severed

and we float in this space

drifting in a state of emptiness

poured from one container into the next

like a moth leaving its chrysalis

we can never go back

that is the only constant

we are the passengers

not the vessel

we are forever