Is the post-apocalyptic inflated? Let's start with this question to understand what we are talking about.

Since the dawn of history, human beings have felt within themselves the need to ask themselves "what would happen after the end". It does not matter if this end was that of the individual or of the world. Most religions, in fact, contain within them what is generally called "the Apocalypse". This event in some cases represents the passage from one age of the world to another, in others simply the conclusion of the history of the world, which will be followed by something else.

In short: the last one closes the door and turns off the light.
This sense of the imminent arrival of the end often leaves the world of religions and contaminates the world of fiction. The credit goes to that wonderful Language of the Night so dear to Ursula K. LeGuin, who often has the gift of being more honest than reality.


post-apocalyptic scenario

The three phases of the post-apocalyptic

It is therefore no coincidence that in the post-World War II filmography we find a large number of works concerning what will happen “after the Bomb”. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are etched in everyone's mind. The tensions between America and the USSR, both equipped with devastating war technologies, make them fear that by now the Apocalypse Clock is about to strike Midnight.

The 70s, however, with their "innocence", will change this "end". "The world after the end of the world" is sure to be cruel, bizarre and ruthless. The human race, or whoever for it, has somehow survived. The atom is still a source of wonder and is seen as full of mysterious potentials. In fact, it is no coincidence that much of the superhero mythology is somehow linked to it. Just think of the famous X-Men of Marvel, also called "Sons of the Atom".

Over the years, however, radiation begins to show its more realistic and dark side and the world has to deal with it. The Bomb and the consequences it generates will not be the beginning of something new, but only the end of everything. In addition, issues related to ecology and the crisis of resources are beginning to become more and more present in everyday life. That feeling of the end of history is thus becoming more and more pressing.


Defiance was a very special example of a post-apocalyptic

The slow apocalypse

The following years will certainly not help. They give us the feeling of a world made of continuous falls from which it becomes increasingly difficult to get up. Just think, for example, of the consequences of XNUMX/XNUMX or the Crisis that destroyed the dreams of opulence in the West.

Our society is therefore facing its slow apocalypse, and the question that arises is: will there be an “after”?
The most likely answer is no.

We are too overspecialized by now. Unable to survive a nature that we no longer know. Too dependent on a technology that is increasingly present in everyday life. Consequently, fiction also begins to react to this and post-polyptych, at least according to myself, is divided into two main strands.


The two cinematic strands of the post-apocalyptic

On the one hand, we have survival stories in which heroism or sacrifice are just useless trappings. It is a prime example of this The Road John Hillcoat's film (2009), based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy (2006). Here the human species is in a slow and painful decline under the icy gaze of winter (perhaps nuclear, or at least the original text suggests this). Survival now does not follow the law of the fittest but only that of despair.

The other strand is well represented by Mad Max Fury Road (George Miller, 2015).
Far be it from me to criticize a film that certainly has an interesting narrative structure. Furthermore, the characters are constructed so thoroughly that they become an example of female empowerment.

I think though Mad Max Fury Road a classic post-apocalyptic? Honestly no.

In Fury Road the post-apocalyptic is only a scenography in front of which the story unfolds. If we had set this on a desert planet and devoid of resources, it would not have had any kind of change.

The die has been cast for many years now and Fury Road accepts it. He doesn't even ask us what happened in the past. Nor does the stupidity of the human species that led to this situation hit us in the face. The world has ended and people have come to terms with it. The human race is already beyond, already living in the "world after the end of the world", more like settlers on an alien planet.

Survival thus becomes only that of the nomad of the desert and no longer that of the heir of the Fall. We can thus afford to push the accelerator and go beyond the ethical and moral conventions so dear to humanity. They are not driven by despair or by the need to hold up a glimmer of something that can no longer be defined.


The two strands of the post-apocalyptic in other media

And so, even in the world of fiction, we are faced with two strands.
On the one hand we have the desperation of realism. In The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman 2003), where the real walking dead are humans. Even in the RPG Sine Requie (Matteo Curtini, Leonardo Moretti published by Serpentarium), the Dead are the masters. In order to survive this plague, awakened during the II ^ GM, humanity yields to the most ferocious compromises. It is no coincidence that the motto of the game is "Only blind ferocity".

On the other, a "world after the end of the world". Here we can dare and mix any genre together without posing too many problems. The real end, in fact, is not that of humanity but that of limits.
We find several interesting non-filmic examples of the latter style.

In Far Cry 5 New Dawn, after a nuclear war, the world, instead of becoming a barren desert, lives a second life thanks to Bloom. An explosion of nature in all its shapes and colors, especially shocking pink.

In Simone Morini's Nameless Land, a role-playing game published by Eleven Aces, we pass without a blow from sentient biomachines to the Lands of Tiamat, a nightmare land that seems to have been imagined by David Croneberg. Up to sea areas where people dress up as the pirates of the common imagination, and then touch real gashes in space and time.



This article is the third of the triad that seeks to explain some of the three basic types of science fiction and non-science fiction strands.

This small roundup, with which I hope to have interested you readers, therefore ends with the title explanation: the post-apocalyptic still exists, perhaps it is no longer what we imagine, but only because it is simply too integrated with us and with the only truth. that we know: when the last bomb falls, whatever comes after it will not be an "after", but something totally new.