After the Dark Ending Explained & Film Analysis

To live is impossible to die: the idea of ​​the film After the Dark (also titled The Philosophers outside the U.S.) (2013): the meaning of the film, the explanation of the ending, the plot, similar films

Country: USA, Indonesia

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, History

Year of production: 2013

Director: John Huddles

Cast: Sophie Lowe, James D’Arcy, Bonnie Wright, Reese Wakefield, Daryl Sabara

tagline: “Die to survive”

Awards and Nominations: Golden Trailer Award

“Philosophers: A Lesson in Survival” (original title After the Dark) is a bright and interesting concept, where the audience is invited to take part in an unusual experiment. The main feature is that here you can try on the situation for yourself, and try to make that difficult choice that is put before the heroes of the story. Let’s try to figure out what the meaning of the film After the Dark is, and answer all the questions left after watching.

What is the movie about

The content of After the Dark introduces the viewer to a group of college graduates in Jakarta. The teacher of the children, Mr. Zimit, invites the students to participate in a small but very strong experiment, where you need to connect logic, pragmatism and philosophical thinking.

college graduatesFrame from the film.

The essence of the film is as follows. Each participant pulls out a card from the box, which indicates the type of his occupation: farmer, builder, soldier, poet, organizer of auctions, designer. Only 20 people. Mr. Zimit himself also participates, but takes on the role of a “dark horse”, and no one knows about his skills.

The meaning of the experiment itself is as follows. The world is on the verge of an apocalypse. Participants of the experiment must sit out the catastrophe in the bunker, and in a year to revive humanity. The trick is that the life support system of the shelter is designed for 10 people, and 21 participants. Therefore, the guys have to make a difficult choice: who will live and who will die.

The idea is the following. They must conduct natural selection, guided by the skills that they have in the cards. For example, a farmer will come in handy later to farm, but the organizer of fashion auctions in the post-apocalyptic world will not be of any use. When the choice is made, everyone decides to be alone with themselves, and at this time the teacher shoots those who are destined to die in order to save them from torment.

Sophie and ReeseSophie Lowe as Petra, Reese Wakefield as James. Frame from the film.

The boys are shocked by this and lock themselves in the bunker, leaving Zimit outside. However, here it turns out that only the teacher has the exit code from the bunker. As a result, the thought experiment fails: the guys survived the apocalypse, but could not leave the bunker.

In the second round, new inputs are added. For example, a farmer who is useful for survival becomes gay, and therefore useless for the continuation of the human race. However, the boy managed to defend his right to take a place in the bunker. This time the guys took into account all the nuances, formed a team, but still failed to survive. As a result of the conflict situation, Zimit freaked out and opened the door of the bunker ahead of time.

For the third time, the participants were selected by Petra. She was guided only by personal principles, and gathered a very unusual team. Remarkably, it suited everyone. Of course, except for Zimit himself. When Petra told him who and why she was leaving in the bunker, for each answer the teacher lowered her mark for the exam.

James DJames D’Arcy as Mr. Zimit. Frame from the film.

The third experiment also ended in the death of all participants, but they lived the time allotted to them for their own pleasure.

When the students leave the auditorium, only Petra and Zimit remain. They clearly had an affair, although the girl is dating James – the same gay farmer. Petra says that she has no future with Zimit, she loves James and will leave with him. At the end of After the Dark, the viewer is offered an open ending. In one, Zimit continues to go to work, in the second, he puts a bullet in his head. Although it is possible that the end of the story is the same, events simply follow one from the other.

Ending explanation

The meaning of the ending of the film After the Dark is ambiguous, but in general, it fully corresponds to the general concept of the story. As can be understood from the description, throughout the film, the characters had to make a choice. This is the key condition of the experiment. Indeed, according to the idea of ​​the teacher, his wards had to select a kind of gene pool in order to revive humanity.

survival experimentFrame from the film.

However, cold calculation proved to be useless here. In this case, the impasse lies in the conditions of the experiment itself. It is clear that for a successful completion, only the young, talented and healthy should remain, but all the heroes had some kind of flaw.

At the same time, the revival of civilization presupposes initially equal conditions for everyone, and our heroes immediately began to divide themselves into people of the first and second grade. The most interesting thing is that Mr. Zimit himself found himself in a similar, only already quite real situation at the end of the story. He is a young, intelligent and well-established person. Logically, Petra should stay with him, but she chooses James, who is not the most gifted student in the class. However, Petra loves him and leaves with him. Now Zimit has two options: to live as before, or to use a gun. The correct explanation of the ending is up to the viewer.

The meaning of the film

A detailed analysis of the film After the Dark & Philosophers makes it clear the deep meaning that the director put into his work. The answer lies in the fact that the conditions of the experiment were initially impossible. Zimit tried to “drown” Petra’s boyfriend, hoping that the girl would stay with him. Moreover, the guys are given the difficult task of choosing the lucky ones, and all their decisions turn out to be wrong.

Following emotions or guided by reason, they failed two experiments, although they chose the most worthy. The third round of the experiment can be considered more or less successful, where Petra chose the lucky ones based on personal preferences.

She tried to choose not the most useful, but the most gifted. As a result, the conditional year spent in the bunker was excellent. The children listened to poetry and enjoyed good wine. Even when they couldn’t get off the island, they continued to enjoy their lives.

nuclear explosionsFrame from the film.

To find the hidden meaning of the film After the Dark, it is enough to pay attention to the Easter eggs that slip through the course of the plot. For example, if a monkey has a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, according to the theory of probability, sooner or later he will be able to type the entire Shakespeare word for word.

A good decision was made by Chips, who, according to the conditions of the experiment, was sterile, therefore, useless for the revival of civilization. However, taking the theory of probability as a basis, he realized that, left alone with six girls, sooner or later one of them would become pregnant from him.

Therefore, according to the meaning of the conditions of the experiment, it was necessary to choose the lucky ones at random: 5 guys and a girl. This would be fair to other participants, who, having turned out to be useless, were immediately relegated to second-class people. In this case, a random choice of the inhabitants of the bunker would not violate the general conditions of the experiment.

Similar films

  • Platform (Spain, 2019). A multi-story prison with a gourmet food platform going through the levels, which should be enough for everyone. However, the inhabitants of the upper levels eat everything, and only the bones remain in the lower ones.
  • God Isn’t Dead (USA, 2014) The classroom turns into a theological debate field, where the student has to defend his faith in front of a professor.
  • King’s Gambit (USA. 2020). Mario Martinez runs a chess club for underprivileged teenagers. Will the ghetto hooligan boys be able to play on equal terms with professional players?
  • Experiment (USA, 2010). As part of the study of the psyche, the participants in the experiment are divided into guards and prisoners. What seems like an exciting game soon turns into a serious confrontation.
  • Replacement Teacher (USA, 2011). Henry Barth replaces a teacher at a school for disadvantaged teenagers. He quickly finds contact with the students, however, outside the walls of the classroom, everything is not so safe.

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