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Past and future look exactly the same in this post-apocalyptic western

In the post-apocalyptic future depicted in this short film there are no smartphones, computers, or octopus-shaped robots trying to destroy what’s left of humanity. Here, people live like they used to in the Wild West. They ride horses, wear funny hats, and are well aware that their life is worth less than the bullet that kills them.

New Earth on the Barrens is a great short film directed by Kyle Haskett. It tells the story of a female courier trying to cross a ruthless frontier. The film raised more than $30k in Kickstarter and it’s Kyle’s thesis film for NYU Tisch Asia.

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Illustration for article titled Past and future look exactly the same in this post-apocalyptic western
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DISCUSSION

I think we’re going to see a genre for this sort of thing, Cowboys and Kalashnikovs. What happens when you lose the profligate energy wasting of a cheap oil society (housewife driving a 2 ton car five miles to buy lettuce) but keep the high value/low weight stuff? I think we’ll have cell phones even after we lose easy access to gas. Just look at the schizo-tech in Africa today. Especially if civilization doesn’t collapse all over the globe, if there remains pockets of high-tech manufacturing looking to trade. In the economic model for my story the Chinese have 21st century windjammers that are damn near entirely automated sailing ships hauling microelectronics to the post-US western seaboard to trade for beef to take back home. The assumption is that the weather remains decent for ranching in the pacific northwest, adequate rainfall. East of the Rockies is uninhabitable, no water, no civilization, no real ties to the government back east.