Directed by Joey Curtis, 2307 Winter’s Dream takes place in the distant future when Earth has become a frozen wasteland and humans live underground to survive the sub-arctic temperatures. With no “man power” on the Earth’s surface, scientists bio-engineer Humanoids that possess great strength, speed, and tolerance to extreme cold. When a rogue humanoid named ASH-393 escapes from captivity and leads a rebellion against mankind, an elite team of soldiers led by Bishop (Paul Sidhu) are dispatched onto the ice to brave the elements and terminate the threat.
Playing out like a hybrid of numerous entries into the sci-fi genre, 2307 doesn’t break any particularly new ice… er… ground. Still, the film is fun and does offer characters to root for, particularly the ragtag band of soldiers sent out into the icy apocalypse. (In addition, after Timothy Lee Depriest shared with me the challenges they faced while filming, I have a much greater appreciation for the visuals themselves. You can read that interview here.)
What I found most surprising, however, was the film’s search for the soul. Taking place 120 years ‘after man killed God’, the film begins to set itself up as an argument for mankind’s ability to survive as a testament to his own efforts. Feeling abandoned in their fight for survival, it is clear to them that they must be alone in the universe. Combined with their ability to clone the humanoids through their own scientific efforts, humanity has decided that the belief in God has become irrelevant. After all, with the power to create life in his hands, man has placed himself in a position to take on the role of God himself, despite his wintery wasteland.
Curiously though, 2307 isn’t content to leave the conversation there.
In fact, much of the film makes a case that despite man’s delusion of power, there remains an element of life that can be neither contained nor eliminated. Although the humanoids may have been engineered by men, they begin to demonstrate aspects of a ‘soul’ that were not programmed into them by their creators. Through their ability to feel love for one another, bear children and even develop religious practices, the humanoids begin to reveal unexplainable spiritual fingerprints. For a world that unquestionably ‘killed God’, this creates a fascinating tension between man’s self-delusion and the reality of something more. Regardless of whether or not he believes there is a God, Bishop finds himself caught in the middle of this spiritual battle and forced to accept the truth. This new reality allows Bishop to reinterpret his entire understanding of the world and, more importantly, the value of the humanoids. What’s more, in doing so, Bishop also regains a part of his soul that has been missing for a long time.
While 2307 is hardly a game-changer in the Sci-Fi world, it does carve out its own space within the genre. More importantly, however, it also wants to have a conversation about the nature of our souls that doesn’t leave you cold.
2307: Winter’s Dream is currently playing the festival circuit and is looking at a wide release in the spring.