Post-apocalypse now: the end of the world at the movies


From the Bible to Nostradamus, the Mayan calendar and the Millennium Bug, fatalists, fantasists and the fervently religious have long been fascinated by the end of the world.

Movie directors love nothing more than feeding our deepest fears concerning overpopulation, pestilence and nuclear armageddon — and the cinema-going public laps it up.

The glut of dystopian fiction coming to theaters and video-on-demand over the coming months includes Peter Jackson’s “Mortal Engines,” Kim Jee-woon’s “Inrang” and Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi’s “Luxembourg.”

Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst at, sees the genre as the “definition of escapism,” an art form that assuages the primal desire to get back to basics.

“These types of films are often viewed as pessimistic glimpses into the future, which is certainly one valid interpretation, but they can also be self-reflective in a positive way,” he told AFP.

“It’s easy to see post-apocalyptic and dystopian film settings as part of our inevitable doom, but we can also take them as lessons and parables because, at the heart of any good story, the human condition is explored and challenged.”