★★★★★ | | After The Dark (The Philosophers)
In After The Dark it’s the last day of term and Mr. Zimit, a Philosophy Teacher challenges his international high school students to take part in one final thought experiment: It’s the apocalypse and there’s a bunker that will save some of them. There’s twenty-one of them and only ten places in the bunker. Having more than ten people in the bunker will mean that all in the bunker perish. The class must decide who will get a place in the bunker and who won’t.
To help the students decide, Mr. Zimit hands them cards with skills on (e.g. Organic Farmer, Structural Engineer, Poet, etc.) for their character in this thought experiment. He encourages them to make logical decisions.
Later Mr. Zimit ups the ante by telling students that they are required to get at least one pregnancy going during the year in the bunker and asks the students to open their cards to reveal another aspect to their character (e.g. one is gay, one is sterile, one is a midwife, one will get cancer in 3 years time, etc.). Then they have to decide again with this new information who will get a place in the bunker.
After The Dark is a superb film that uses the dialogue and snippets of action to keep the watcher hooked throughout. Set in the Indonesian city of Jakarta, there are some beautiful settings in this film including Prambanan temple. The cast are mostly unknowns, but fitted their individual roles and worked together well.
There is good representation of gay people in this film. One of the students is a gay man who is out, accepted and valued by his fellow students (and there is another one that isn’t out at the beginning of the film).
The lead male character who is identified as straight, opens up his Organic Farmer card to reveal that his character is gay. He gets a place in the bunker, but when it comes to pairing up to get a pregnancy going he says he feels he wouldn’t be comfortable sleeping with a woman as a gay man. This is followed by a short scene of him and the openly gay student getting it on and then shows them becoming close as a couple.
After The Dark is a film that challenges what you believe about philosophy, logic, the survival of the human race and whether it’s important to exist or live. You’ll find yourself watching it again and again and thinking about it for days afterwards. It will be a great source of enjoyment and generate a good debate among the people you watch it with.
After The Dark is a fantastic five star film, one that has been under-rated and missed by most. It is available to pre-order/order on Amazon.