The filmmaker Patrice Laliberté could hardly have picked a better time to launch his thriller Until the decline, the first quebecois film financed by Netflix, which puts in scene a group of survivalist who are preparing for a possible end of the world : “When we see what is happening in this moment, it almost seems that the film was written yesterday in response to the current situation,” he says.
No, Patrice Laliberté does not have a crystal ball that allowed him to see it coming in advance, the crisis of the sars coronavirus. It is simply that by focusing for several years on the phenomenon of survivalism, the director of 33 years, knew very well that the threat of a pandemic was at the top of the list of concerns of people who fear a humanitarian disaster, or ecological.
“The risks of epidemics, it has been known for a long time that it threatens us because there are always more and more humans on Earth,” he observes. But I could not predict the coronavirus. Not really…”
Shot last winter with a budget of approximately$ 5 Million, Until the decline tells the story of a group of survivalist who meet for a few days in a remote camp in the middle of a forest to attend a training course given by Alain (Réal Bossé), a kind of guru of survivalism. The goal : to learn how to forage and to defend itself in the event of economic crisis, environmental disaster or pandemic. But a tragic accident will sow discord within the group.
Captivating, scary, and frankly effective, Until the decline is a real good thriller, such as we see far too little in Quebec. Well done and well played (special mention to Réal Bossé and Marie-Evelyne Lessard), the film is full of action, explosions and stunts. The winter in quebec, in the heart of the plot, adds to the suspense and the spectacular side.
The phenomenon of survivalism does not date from yesterday. But since the crisis of the coronavirus force everyone to consider making provisions to prepare for the worst, the philosophy of life of the survivalist suddenly seems a little less far-fetched for the common man.
“I’ve met a lot of survivalist preparing for the film, and it has many nuanced my remarks on the phenomenon,” says Patrice Laliberté, who signs here his first feature film after having directed several short.
“There are a lot of good intentions behind the survivalism : the independence of its resources, the fact of being autonomous, of wanting to protect his family. But it is in the second phase that it can go awry, when, for example, the person begins to say that its resources will be the envy of your friends and it’s going to need to learn how to use a rifle and make traps to protect the other. It is this militarization that takes its root in the fear and paranoia that becomes dangerous. ”
♦ Until the decline will be available on Netflix from Friday.