"Los Angeles Film Festival Views and Reviews"
by Michael Hofstein

November, 2004


"AFTER THE APOCALYPSE (Narrative Competition) Since the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima, much of the Japanese cultural psyche has been preoccupied with the idea of the cataclysmic destruction of society, whether by a Godzilla-type monster or by nuclear bombardment. First time director Yasuaki Nakajima expresses his personal vision of this cultural anomaly.

The movie takes place after the total destruction of civilization. It’s never clear what caused the cataclysm, but it’s not important. What is important is that there are survivors, and as they gradually emerge – each from their sacred refuge – they are not able to speak. As each stumbles upon another, they learn to communicate in this new world. Their lives slowly intertwine, and the growing pains of a new society begin to develop.

The story progresses at a slow but steady pace. As in a silent movie, without a spoken word the cast deftly communicates through their actions. While the black and white 16mm photography lacks visual inspiration, the soundtrack is the real surprise. The movie’s true voice is expressed piercingly and unmistakably with a very eclectic soundtrack of original electronic sounds and music by Hiro Ota, which sometimes follows it.

Nakajima is off to a good start with AFTER THE APOCALYPSE, an interesting first effort on a very limited budget. Hopefully we’ll see his thoughts and imagination unfold again in future project.