It may have been released three years ago, but few films capture the beauty of the American Southwest like “The Wild Heart: A Journey Through The SouthWest Wilderness”. Filmmaker Henry Jun Wah, a physician of Chinese Medicine, traveled deep into some of the Southwest’s most wild locations, often with a 4×4 truck or by hiking.
Perhaps the most impressive scene in the entire film is the opening time-lapse sequence, which shows The Wave in Northern Arizona getting pounded by a snowstorm. In an interview with The Atlantic, Wah describes the difficulty in capturing this incredible sight.
Going in was a 1.5-hour hike across slick rock and sand dunes with a 50 lb pack of film gear. Luckily it didn’t start to snow until half way into the hike but by the time I reached The Wave, there was two inches on the ground and the snow was getting heavier. By the time I left it was dangerous. Four to five inches of snow. Slick rock that was so slippery and icy that at some points I had to get on my hands and feet to crawl up slopes. To make matters worse, it was nightfall while I was only half way back to the trail head. Add a couple of wrong turns and it took two and a half hours to hike out. Luckily I was prepared and nothing bad happened. But another hiker had to rush to the ER because he fell and dislocated his shoulder several times and went into shock. Nature can be very unforgiving!
The scene, and the entire film, is a breathtaking look into some of America’s most valued treasures.
To see more of Wah’s incredible work, give his website, Evosia Studios a visit.