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By Eric Campos | March 16, 2004

This post-apocalyptic adventure doesn’t feature grand battles for water, nor does it feature massive skirmishes for land. It doesn’t include a talking dog, nor is there an underground society of suburbanite mutants. No, Yasuaki Nakajima shows us what post-apocalyptic life would most likely be like for the survivors of nuclear war.

In “After the Apocalypse,” we follow five survivors of World War III as they try and cope with their brand new desolate Earth, as well with each other. There aren’t any major plans for these people; they’re just all about taking care of the basics. This is perfectly illustrated during a scene where one of our survivors flips through a porno mag while taking a crap. Finishing, he cleans himself with a page from the magazine. He then moves a few steps away and commences to m********e to the same publication. Now that’s taking care of business.

Past the hunting and gathering of these lost people, a full-blown drama unfolds as jealousies erupt and basic needs become major emergencies, such as food supply. This interesting ant farm turns a little grisly as desperation takes hold and human beings find themselves doing whatever they have to do to survive.

Oh yeah, most importantly, this film includes not one single word of dialogue. The drama unfolds and is kept afloat by the cast’s body language. Pretty impressive seeing that the film never drags despite its quiet nature.

What better way to present a post-apocalyptic setting than with 16mm black and white film? “After the Apocalypse” is gorgeous, conveying a world similar to that of Lynch’s “Eraserhead.” It’s easy to get lost right along with these characters with the film’s beautiful industrial setting and gentle soundtrack. That is, if that’s your sort of thing.

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