Crown of Thorns 00:00
“When trying to work out what’s going on inside other animals we have a habit of assuming it either has to match what’s going on inside us, or not be anything at all.”

Crown-of-thorns is a starfish that preys on Australia’s coral, with a name that is derived from the sea star’s resemblance to the biblical “crown of thorns” said to have been set upon JC’s head en route to the cross.

The metaphorically charged name of the starfish feels especially appropriate for Georgia Krause’s new short film Crown of Thorns. With striking, dream-like visuals overlaid with voiceover from marine biology expert, Dr. Ana Bugnot, and philosopher of science, Peter Godfrey Smith, Krause’s film begins as a literal deep dive into the world of starfish before morphing into a poetic meditation on the nature of consciousness and our limited ability to empathize with lifeforms different from ourselves.