5.3/10
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28 user 36 critic

Embers (2015)

Not Rated | | Drama , Sci-Fi | 2017 (Spain)
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1:54 | Trailer

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After a global neurological epidemic, those who remain search for meaning and connection in a world without memory.

Director:

Claire Carré
18 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jason Ritter ... Guy
Iva Gocheva ... Girl
Greta Fernández Greta Fernández ... Miranda
Tucker Smallwood ... Teacher
Karl Glusman ... Chaos
Roberto Cots Roberto Cots ... Father
Dominique Swain ... Woman in the Long Dress
Matthew Goulish Matthew Goulish ... Guardian
Silvan Friedman ... Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Derrick Aguis ... Man With the Pipe
Nathaniel Andrew Nathaniel Andrew ... Man with the Flare
Brandon Bowens ... Survivor
Janice Culver Janice Culver ... Survivor
Ryan Czerwonko ... Man In the Parka
Kirsten Kairos Kirsten Kairos ... Computer
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Storyline

In a dystopian future, an unidentified virus has caused a neurological disease of global proportions, decimating the majority of the earth's population. Little by little, as we observe the lives of a handful of survivors who still remain relatively unharmed by this illness, we understand their struggle to hopelessly attach to their former way of life, where even the simplest of affairs require great effort to be accomplished. Ultimately, as the last remaining souls suffer from varying degrees of memory loss, the urgent and paramount need to move forward with their lives will become an arduous task and a fierce battle with the inevitable. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The world without memory.

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Poland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2017 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Zsarátnok See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Running Out of Time
Written by Nigel A. Wilson
Performed by Stop Dancing
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User Reviews

 
Complex Disguised as Simple
22 July 2016 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

After a global neurological epidemic, those who remain search for meaning and connection in a world without memory.

On its surface, "Embers" is a very simple movie. We have a series of people who have lost their memory to varying degrees. Some can remember for a day, some only minutes. A few seem to be able to push the limits a little bit further. Good science fiction is taking reality as we know it, and pushing the edges out just a bit to what is not yet actual, but possible. And "Embers" succeeds in that endeavor.

Writer-director Claire Carre was fully aware of the importance of keeping the infection idea grounded in reality. "I did a ton of research, looking at different neurological case studies, and specially looking at the lives of people with amnesia… The characters in the film suffer from symptoms similar to the type of brain damage you might get from viral encephalitis." Thus, what we see in "Embers" is entirely possible, as unlikely as it might be that amnesia would occur on a (presumably) global scale.

Whether intentional or not, the film evokes the idea of location as a character in its own right. The filmmakers went out of their way to find just the right settings: an abandoned church in Gary, Indiana and an underground bunker in Poland are two prominent examples. The bunker shown in the film is not a set, but was built as part of the Nazi line of defense during WWII. The spiral staircase scene is real: the stairs run ten stories deep with over twenty miles of underground tunnels to explore. The locations serve as characters because they tell as much of the story – perhaps more – than the humans, showing how much the world has fallen into decay.

Within the simple plot structure, we are left to find subtle messages on our own. At least two dichotomies are evident: Hope versus Chaos, and Freedom versus Safety. Freedom versus Safety is a bit more obvious, as the character of Miranda and her father have a discussion touching on these themes. After years of isolation, she longs to be free, to search for her mother or just to see new surroundings. Her father, perhaps wiser, tries to explain how she is the safest she could ever be: one step outside, and she risks falling victim just like everyone else. So which is the right way to live: alone and safe, or free and struggling?

The character of Chaos is in the form of a man, but could just as easily be a metaphor for chaos in general. The world, left to its own devices, will inevitably decay and turn to dust. He is part of that process, just working at an accelerated rate, killing and smashing as he plows through life like a hurricane. Countering him is Boy, who stands as a metaphor for hope. Just as Chaos wanders, so does Boy, and we get the impression that maybe, possibly, he has not been affected by the virus. Because he is mute we can never fully gauge his memory, but he seems to comprehend the passing of days better than anyone else. If there are more Boys (and Girls) in the world, it may not decay and chaos may not reign after all. This one character (Boy) inverts the whole narrative from a tragic, depressing tale into one of hope.

"Embers" is a complicated film disguised as a simple one. For anyone who wants to see a film about a glimmer of hope in a world at its lowest, this is the film for you. "Embers" premieres July 22 at the Fantasia International Film Festival.


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