Post-Apocalyptic Worlds

I watched the movie The Book of Eli recently. I would recommend it. Apart from a great performance from Denzel Washington (of course) it has an interesting premise with a bit of a Sixth Sense twist at the end (although not as well carried off).

What I found interesting was its portrayal of the post-apocalyptic world. The film only hints at what happened but it must have been bad because the world is desolate and barely habitable. I thought the technique the director used to convey this was very well done – the colors are so subdued that the film almost looks like it was shot in black and white. In many scenes the only color is the brown of Denzel’s face.

I’ve been considering the portrayal of post-apocalyptic worlds in books and film recently because my next book Faraday’s Mine will be set in a post-apocalyptic world (the apocalypse arrives in Newton’s Ark but you don’t really get to see what the world is like afterwards). But it is a very different post-apocalyptic world from that portrayed in The Book of Eli or many other stories. The events in Newton’s Ark cause some temporary climate effects, but the ecosystem soon recovers. Imagine a lush world in which robots and other automated systems keep all the infrastructure as good as new, but maybe there’s nobody around to enjoy it…

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