Saturday, 10 December 2016

Domain review: The Internet can be worse than humanity-ravaging epidemics

Trailer for Domain

Domain, an indie sci-fi thriller borrowing Truman Show themes and Alien aesthetics, starts with a premise near and dear to the genre fan's heart: a deadly virus (here called the Saharan flu) is wiping out most of humanity. But while Domain may initially appear to be just another pandemic parable, it has a decidedly 2016 idea at its core.

For starters, Saharan flu has already killed 5,000 in Germany, Italy, and Egypt, and doctors fear it's spreading beyond their containment abilities. "The World Health Organization says it's potentially civilization-threatening," public broadcasts declare within the film's opening minutes.

Luckily, the WHO has a plan to save some of humanity: the organization has built 500,000 bunkers across the globe. Any healthy person fortunate enough to avoid the virus and win a worldwide lottery needs to immediately get in and stay there while the virus runs its course on the surface. Because no one knows how long that will take, the bunkers have been constructed to last 70 years—these aren't your average doomsday concrete fortresses. Some 30-feet-underground, they have technology to recycle water, maintain air quality, and mimic lighting to distinguish day from night. Each holds only a single human being in order to prevent the spread of any disease. The bunkers have 70 years-worth of freeze dried food and work off power solely generated by a single row-machine.

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