The reaction of people in Jack’s old crew to seeing him again reflects more about their character than it does any lingering affection they might have for good old Jack. His ex-friend Morgan (Anslem Richardson) is a decent man who takes him in and helps navigate the dangers of coming back to a place where he’s reviled and marked. He holds deep anger for Jack, but he’s willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Jack may have turned over a new leaf, re-thought actions that he wished he could take back, or he may simply just be willing to tolerate his wife again if it allows him to blow this popsicle stand called Earth. Whatever his motivation, he is one tenacious son of a bitch, willing to cross any line to find her and plead his case.
“…a shining example of Indie filmmaking at its finest.”
Hossain has achieved mighty things with this little film. The budget is small, but the story is layered and thoughtful. Ostensibly science fiction, we see spaceships taking off every day, carrying the hopeful to new worlds and new lives, but could this Los Angeles really be a metaphor for any place where people feel unsafe and can no longer make their lives? Do we see a tale of space travel, trading on the ideas in films like Blade Runner about space colonization, or is this Mexico? Or Honduras? Or Syria? Only this time, it’s Americans looking to get out at any cost. How would we comport ourselves under that kind of existential threat?
Not only has the filmmaker crafted a work that holds a mirror up to American arrogance about immigrants, but he does so in a piece with solid action scenes and pace. The camera work and lighting stay close on the characters, making the world feel claustrophobic and unsettled. Silverman expertly presents a quietly intense Jack, and Wilcox as the sleazy psychotic Eric with an ax to grind hits each beat just right.
Once in a while, a budget indie film comes along that makes us glad this art form is still around. After We Leave is a shining example of indie filmmaking at its finest.
"…six years ago Jack walked away from his wife Vanessa and disappeared..."