Atomic age doomsday narratives have been around since the 1950s, and the genre gains more and more cultural currency as climate change anxieties grow and eras of financial collapse loom. In indie director Craig Zobel’s “Z For Zachariah,” an adaptation of a beloved post-apocalyptic novel from the 1970s, our potential extinction is a drawn in a far more intimate way than you’d imagine.
While it’s a genre-y post-nuclear movie on the surface, “Z For Zachariah” is ultimately a drama with a capital D and a love-triangle struggle told against the backdrop of a scorched America. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine and centers on a scientist survivor (Ejifor) who comes upon a utopian mountainside that miraculously has not been touched by the radioactivity that has affected and crippled most of the country. In this little enclave is a young girl (Robbie) fending for herself an another mysterious man who they come across (Pine). Here’s the official synopsis:
In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist, he’s nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. A fragile, imperative strand of trust connects them. But when a stranger enters the valley, their precarious bond begins to unravel. Z FOR ZACHARIAH is inspired by the novel of the same name by Robert C. O’Brien, published posthumously in 1974, and was created by Pall Grimsson and adapted for the screen by Nissar Modi (Breaking At The Edge).
Known for “Compliance” and “The Great Big World Of Sound,” Zobel takes a big leap with his delicately observed third feature-length effort (read our review from Sundance); the film opens on August
20 28. The first trailer has arrived via Roadside Attractions. Watch it below and let us know what you think.