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Film / Embers

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A vague and mysterious virus has swept across humanity, leaving the infected without the ability to form new memories or access their old ones. We follow various inhabitants of this bleak world: a man and a woman with no memory of each other, but who are wearing matching bracelets; a professor trying to find a cure; a mute child; a violent teenager; and an uninfected girl who's been living in a bunker with her father for almost ten years.

Embers (2015) is the debut film of director Claire Carré.

Embers contains examples of:

  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: The movie brings up an interesting question as to whether or not this would be a violent post-apocalypse— it seems like most people, wandering around without memory, are mostly just confused and idly disinterested in other people; many are friendly and huddle together, forgetting one another after a short time. The only ones who are dangerous are people like the teenager, Chaos, whose first instinct when confused is to hurt someone else.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Every day!
    • Surprisingly you could say this movie follows the romcom plot— boy meets girl, boy loses girl, finds her again.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A woman the boy encounters, credited as "Woman in the Long Dress," talks like she's in a fairytale, sleeps on a bed of stuffed animals and eats candy with a spoon like it's cereal.
  • Cute Mute: The boy— people tend to want to take care of him. It's unclear if he's just never been taught to speak, or if he's been infected since birth and therefore never has been able to learn language skills.
    • When we're introduced to him, he's repeating the "wuh" sound over and over while spinning in circles, before a man comes up to him and teaches him the word for "watch." The boy follows the man, whose memory resets after he walks a few more yards, and then teaches him the same word again.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Miranda and her father live in one of these.
  • Name Amnesia: Most of the characters have no memory of themselves or their names. The man and woman give each other a new name each time they wake up, usually saying, "Yeah, that sounds right!"
  • Nameless Narrative: See above. In the credits the nameless characters are listed as "Guy," "Girl," "Teacher," "Chaos," and "Boy."
  • Note to Self: The professor keeps a journal of his investigations, as well as a record of his mental deterioration. It's presumable that in this world a lot of people would be doing something similar.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: The professor, who lives alone in a cabin in the woods, rereading textbooks on memory and the virus. Until the boy shows up.