After We Have Left Our Homes Image

Truthfully, the stakes couldn’t be higher. A world without music is a world not worth living in — at least that’s how I see it, seeing how music resonates deeply with listeners by relating to them or helping them come to terms with their melancholy or ire. After establishing the bleak setting, the camera zooms in on the flinty and detached protagonist (a stellar Raphael Sawadogo), who’s blankly staring at the city from the vantage point of his unadorned apartment. He is wearing a white-collar suit, and the book in his hand is concealing something illicit: a record.

The man puts on a pair of headphones and presses play. He begins to cut loose like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. But it isn’t long until he’s caught with the contraband. He’s sentenced to six years of labor. While escaping custody, the man discovers a repository of confiscated items, which is roughly made up of music records and players. Feeling compelled to liberate the citizens of their mundane and lifeless existence, he triggers a driven revolution that will bring music back into the lives of those who were compelled to mourn its demise. When music is eventually restored, so too is color, which enlivens the idea that music makes our lives inherently richer.

 

“…the crux of freedom will find an audience, even in an oppressive society.”

Music speaks to us on a number of levels, and watching an everyday man risk his life for music is treated as a heroic and dangerous act. Through every genre of song, instrument, and lyric, the music finds an audience, and the essence of freedom isn’t any different. As shown in After We Have Left Our Homes, the crux of freedom will find an audience, even in an oppressive society.

Marc Adamson’s After We Have Left Our Homes is an 8-minute sci-fi noir that’s beautifully filmed and palpably dour. The black-and-white photography is fitting, considering how much despair washes over the futuristic city. The streets are hauntingly vacant, and the machines are eerily still. Supported by superb VFX work and Raphael Sawadogo’s modestly stirring performance, After We Have Left Our Homes is a nicely-crafted sci-fi venture that finds harmony between the atmosphere, tone, mood, and thematic value.

After We Have Left Our Homes (2020)

Directed and Written: Marc Adamson

Starring: Raphael Sawadogo, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

After We Have Left Our Homes Image

"…a totalitarian dictatorship is in effect, and freedom of expression is a thing of the past"

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