Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here.

17th Dallas International Film Festival

After Blue begins by chronicling humanities exodus from a dying earth to the cosmos in search of a new home. That brings them to a faraway planet called After Blue. On the surface, it looks to be the utopia needed to reset humanity. This not to be the case. The planet systematically eliminates all the male and only the women remain.

The story centers around the young outcast Roxy (Paula Luna) also known as Toxic. Tempted by an imprisoned woman condemned to die, Roxy is persuaded to release her. In exchanged for her freedom, Roxy is granted three of here deepest desires. Her newfound benefactor fulfill the first desire instantly; but, with tragic consequences.

When the community elders find out, they give Roxy and her hairdresser mother Zora (Elina Löwensohn) a single choice as recompense for the transgression. They are sent on a mission to track down and eliminate Kate Bush. It’s the only way they will be allowed to return home.

What happens next feels less like a journey across paradise then a descent into hell. Traversing the nine circles; Roxy and Zora have different and chilling experiences. They come face to face with their own desires, insecurities, and lust. The souls of her murdered friends throughout haunt Roxy. The door to their portion of hell is one Roxy freely enters to commune with them.

After Blue takes on undertones of most post-apocalyptic films that which preceded it. In these often-dystopian futures, humanity wrestle with its basic instincts. These instincts often clash with creating a societal framework based on the greater good. After Blue is founded on a few basic fundamental tenets. They are immediately violated. People are fundamentally incapable of existing in any universe strictly defined in black and white. We say we must adapt to grey; but it is more vibrant and visceral.

The story seems to end at the beginning. For me the experience was dark, highly visual, an immersive. It took a bit of time to process all that I have seen. I needed a moment to collect my thoughts and attempt to convey my experience. Whatever your thoughts on what that potential future holds, toss them out of the window. This story is less of a Dirty Paradise and more of Dante’s Inferno. Therefore, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

15th Dallas International Film Festival