Multitalented musician and songwriter, Sia has recently released her newest, and perhaps most expressive, music video for her track, ‘The Greatest’. The video is directed and choreographed as tribute to, and in support for, the victims of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting.
Co-directed by Sia, and starring dancer Maddie Zieglar, the video presents similar elements to Sia’s previous award-winning music videos. Beginning with the hashtag #weareyourchildren, the scene opens up in a dusty nightclub, and the viewer is drawn in with white noise—the kind of humming sound that accompanies a disaster just struck. Ziegler, staring straight down the camera lens, runs her fingers down her cheeks, trailing behind a rainbow—a symbol of unity for those who identify as LGBT. As with all the other music videos she’s starred in, Zieglar conveys an array of guises, molding her facial expressions to cover deeper emotional suffering. It’s only at the very end do we see how distressed Zieglar’s character really is.
The symbolism in the video is hard to miss. I would say that the backup dancers in the video are the shooting’s victims, weren’t it for the children present there as well. Which leads me to think the hashtag #weareyourchildren transcends to more than just the LGBT community: to all those fighting ongoing battles with the prejudices of society today. It’s a dance of those who have been—literally—shot down, and are rising up again.
There’s a blatant and evocative display of human emotions in this video, and it makes it beautifully confronting. In a world that aims to distract and veil, the video opens a window to undisguised suffering, leaving an imprint on the mind long after the 5:52 mark.