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Categories: Movie Reviews

Marija Makeska looks at Lorenzo Sportiello’s dystopian drama “Index Zero”, which combines creative sci-fi production design with some harsh insights into the world’s elite ruling class. 

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If we were to allow the ruling elite on Earth to decide every law without restriction, what would life be like? The answer comes with Lorenzo Sportielo’s film “Index Zero”, whose purpose is to educate the audience about world politics and its effects on humanity. 

During the first few frames of the film, the director chooses to put a quote by John Sawhill: “a society is defined not only by what it creates, but what it refuses to destroy.” This quote explains the philosophy of the film – what are the laws that we have created for the “common good” that are actually dehumanizing, that we’re unfairly forced to obey? 

The story of “Index Zero”, which happens 20 years into our future in 2035, is about a pregnant woman Eve (Ana Ularu) and her man Kurt (Simon Merrells) who are trying to cross an unspecified border and enter The United States of Europe illegally. However, once they make it to the Europe the police catches them and throws them in jail. 

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Once inside, they’re tested for their “sustainability index”, which decides their legal worth to society and if they’ll eventually be able to enter Europe legally. Reach “index zero”, and you’re finally of value to society. Kurt has potential for sustainability, and is moved to a special part of the jail in which he trains to be put back into society. Since Eve is pregnant, however, and natural fertilization is not a legal option for anyone in society, she’s considered “not sustainable” and must be expelled. Is Kurt going to allow that? Obviously not. Thus, he fights to see Eve and to escape from jail so he can join a militia who is protesting against the index. 

The first interesting thing about “Index Zero” is the choice of locations. The use of barren hills to create a wasteland at the beginning of the film greatly adds to the drama of Eve and Kurt’s suffering, and this contrasts with the clinical feel of the interiors used for the jail which they’re sent to. The lighting, costumes and make up are incredibly detailed. Even though it’s a dark film, blue LED lights are used to find a perfect balance. First, we have the outdoor natural light from the sun, and then it’s the jail’s dark lighting. The costumes and make up are compatible to each scene as well. The dirtiness of the lead actors’ faces emphasizes the dull looks of the other prisoners, and the militia are given a cleaner look, a dose of hope for freedom and love. 

Also notable about “Index Zero” is the international diversity of its cast and crew, which was made up of a mix of people from Italy (the primary production country and homeland of director Lorenzo Sportiello), the UK, and Macedonia among other places. It was great to see Macedonian actor Meto Jovanovski, who was only in one scene as a seller and a helper for people who want to immigrate illegally into The United States of Europe. 

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The film digs deep into messaging us in a way of a warning where society would go if people were to allow the elite to apply all the laws that they want to create in order to control the population. One way to do that is to avoid having children naturally, and to force advertising on people from private corporations who control every aspect of our lives. This way of dehumanizing makes the person dependent on obeying the laws and regulations. To ensure this, if someone disobeys the law, their sustainability index falls dramatically. 

“Index Zero” is highly recommended for sci-fi fans tired of watching Hollywood science fiction just because the heroes and heroines are popular, tired of watching new episodes of the same stories every year just to see the studios survive. 

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Marija Makeska is a writer, poet, filmmaker and a visual artist living in Detroit, USA. She enjoys spending her time with people from different cultures while working on various projects with pagan, or gothic themes.

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Posted on Jul 6, 2015

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