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After the Dark (2013)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 12,222 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 93 user | 44 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

At an international school in Jakarta, a philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty graduating seniors to choose which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.

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Title: After the Dark (2013)

After the Dark (2013) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Zimit
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Petra
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James
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Andy
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Poppie
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Yoshiko
Taser Hassan ...
Nelson
Chanelle Bianca Ho ...
Mitzi
Darius Homayoun ...
Toby
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Storyline

When the last day of school comes for a group of students in a philosophy class, their instructor, Mr. Zimit, challenges them to different sorts of exercises that take place in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world. While there, they each get chosen professions and have to decide whether who is valuable or not because the bunker they will be staying in for a year has only enough oxygen for 10 people. Mr. Zimit challenges them in different rounds to see how they could survive. Issues arise when they notice Mr. Zimit is disruptive to the game. Written by James Hake

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 October 2013 (Russia)  »

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After the Dark  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Perhaps intentionally, the student summarizes only a portion of Plato's Cave, not the entire allegory. See more »

Quotes

Petra: In my apocalypse, everybody's worth as much as everybody else. We live briefly, but we don't mind. And when it's time to die, we don't resist death. We summon it.
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Crazy Credits

"James's poem to Petra by Rhys Wakefield and Sophie Lowe" See more »

Soundtracks

Gamelan
Written by Wolfgang Frisch, Michael Holzgruber, Markus Kienzl, Wolfgang Schloegl
Performed by Sofa Surfers
[© Universal Music - MGB Songs on behalf of Ed. Monoscope Audio (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Arge Monoscope Audio]
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User Reviews

 
Had a lot of potential but ultimately it was a let down
20 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The concept of this movie seemed promising; a philosophical thought experiment where you must decide who should live and who should die, all presented in a way that was both entertaining and involving for the audience. In the end though, I came away feeling that the script had been written by two people: the first 2 thirds were written by someone who did a crash course in philosophy and had only a vague understanding of the ideas they were trying to explore, and the final third was written by someone who manages to pull off the challenge of being unbelievably self-righteous despite their IQ of 70.

At the start, it (very) quickly glances over some other thought experiments which involve conflicts of rationality and morality (5 people tied to one train track, 1 person tied to parallel track, train coming down track with 5 people, but you have a switch that will change the track the train goes down to the one with only 1 person on, do you flip the switch?). They're well known to anyone who's familiar with utilitarianism, but anyone who's not covered them before will probably be left confused as to how the movie concludes immediately after asking the question that the switch flippers are murderers and offering no explanation as to why. But it's at least getting people warmed up for actively participating in the thought experiment rather than just being passive observers.

The main thought experiment, deciding who should get to live, is pretty interesting at first. Rationality and logic will be most peoples tools for deciding; the people who bring the greatest benefit to humanity should live. The movie then tries to test the boundaries of how far you'll stay rational for the greater good in situations which you may find immoral. Can 'bad' actions be justified if they're for the greater good (e.g. dropping the atom bomb to end WW2)? While this is good in concept, the script and characters fail to pull it off in a convincing way. The characters put up fights on grounds of morality in such petty issues that they come across as just being whiny children throwing a tantrum rather than humans stretched to the limits of what they'll do in pursuit of the greater good and finally drawing a line in what they can bear to justify to themselves as 'the rational thing to do'.

It was the final third that really ruined the film though. Up until then it may not have been great, but it was at least trying to explore philosophical problems. But at this point the self-righteous writer who can barely spell philosophy, let alone comprehend it, takes over. They completely ignore every concept of right and wrong the film has previously been exploring. The writer goes off on their own tangent with their view of what's 'good', which doesn't seem too bad at first, except it appears to be written by someone who has never actually stopped to consider why they judge something as 'good'. There is neither rationality nor logic behind their ideas, no concept of the greater good, in fact, you'd be hard pushed to find any interpretation of morality where the final writers 'good' may fit in to. It's just selfish, unbelievably stupid and defies any kind of logic. The writer isn't trying to write a thought provoking script, he's trying to write a 'feel good' story that ignores reality and is completely unrelated to anything previously discussed in the movie. I believe the writer was trying to convey something along the lines of rationality and logic not being the gold standard when it comes to morality, but he failed in showing anyone why this might be. His attempt to show this may have actually being so poor that, inadvertently, he actually reinforced the importance of rationality.

I think the movie does deserve some credit for presenting a story that will get viewers thinking about some interesting concepts, for that I would still recommend it for people unfamiliar with philosophy, but if you are familiar with the concepts covered then I don't think it's worth watching as it will add nothing new to what you already know and will probably end up just irritating you.


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