Human Flower Project
“Flowers from the Heartland”
Peter Daulton captures on film the only social movement in history that revolved around bridal bouquets.
This movie, winner of the Audience Choice Award at September’s Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, documents an exuberant demonstration of intercontinental solidarity. “Flowers from the Heartland” was initiated by some inspired Minneapolis citizens who, seeing same-sex couples lining up to marry in San Francisco earlier this year, organized a flower fund to make sure all these wanna-I-doers would have wedding bouquets.
For insight into how Flowers from the Heartland came together, check this intriguing log of memos that circulated nationwide.
Between February 2004, when Mayor Gavin Newsom legalized gay marriage, and August when the new law was rescinded, Peter Daulton managed to film an array of flowers givers and getters. The wedding bouquets were anonymously purchased and randomly presented as couples waited their turn at the courthouse. A piece in the San Francisco Chronicle channels some of the excitement.
I haven’t seen “Flowers from the Heartland” yet but have written the director for a calendar of screenings, to be posted here. The movement, and the film it inspired, have lots to say—about the subtle sympathies that crisscross red and blue states, about the enduring significance of floral customs, and, especially, about the capacity of internet communities to materialize, mobilize and act.