The Global Search for Education: An Interview with the Montgomery Brothers on The Flower Man
This month, audiences can screen The Flower Man on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by Planet Classroom.
The Flower Man, by Luke and Ethan Montgomery, is a captivating short film that exposes the concerning reality of technology addiction among teenagers. Through a heartfelt story about a boy named Liam, the film highlights the importance of real human connections and the drawbacks of excessive phone use. With stunning cinematography, it delivers a powerful message about finding balance in the digital age.
The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome back Directors Luke and Ethan Montgomery.
What inspired you to create a short film specifically addressing the issue of technology addiction among teenagers?
We’ve had a lot of experiences where we’re trying to talk to a friend, but they’re on their phone. It always feels weird when that happens, and the film partly came from our annoyance with that tendency in our peers. But we also had to recognize that we are just as capable of dismissing people. We all can get distracted, and we’ve all been guilty of surface-level interactions with others. For us, the film is less about the specific issue of technology addiction and more about a character who suffers from a lack of community.
Can you tell us more about the symbolism behind the community flower garden in the film and its significance to the story?
The idea for the flower garden sort of just fell into our hands and felt right. We liked its quirkiness, but it also felt appropriate for a story about the need for community. In the film, Liam’s peers love the flowers, but they see them only as a means to an end. Only Liam appreciates what they represent — genuine connection. Community cannot be transactional.
How did you approach the cinematography to effectively convey the contrast between the characters’ phone addiction and the beauty of human interaction?
We wanted the film to feel light and fun, letting the earnest thematic elements of the story sort of sneak up on you. But we also used color to separate Liam from the rest of the characters. He wears bright colors while everyone else is in blues and grays. A world with more Liams in it would be a brighter one.
In your opinion, what message or takeaway do you hope viewers will gain from watching The Flower Man in terms of finding a balance between technology use and meaningful human connections?
Our hope is that if people enjoy the film, they might feel a little bit of that same feeling that inspired us to make the film. Meaningful connection with others is really important, and ironically, it’s exactly what we’re all trying to get through our phone screens. We have to do our best to actually engage with the people around us.
Thank you Ethan and Luke!
C.M. Rubin with Ethan and Luke Montgomery
Don’t miss The Flower Man, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated by Planet Classroom.