Review of O-Bi, O-Ba – The End of Civilization (1985)

Moving picture, 88 minutes

Seen in 2018.

One year after the war with the Booroos (Borås?), a military officer who has helped invent a myth of salvation for the 850 survivors tries to secure a future for the prostitute he loves by convincing an engineer to repair their nuclear shelter before its dome caves in under the pressure of the snow.

Nuclear holocaust fiction. The aesthetics—particularly the colours—are those of On the Silver Globe (1988), but this is heavily compressed. Every shot except the Terry Gilliam-esque ending is from inside the bunker, and we see representatives of the entire social structure in neatly contained portraits. Even time is compressed: it makes little sense for so many to be so devoted to the Ark after less than a year, in the absence of any other Abrahamic teachings, it doesn’t make sense for the shelter to have a planned lifespan of only one year, and finally it doesn’t make sense for the entire plot to be contained in the span of about a day. These are conventional theatrical shortcuts which undermine the gravity of the material. A few more rounds of rewrites could have produced a major classic.

References here: Letters from a Dead Man (1986).

moving picture fiction