Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Cured (3½ Stars)

This is the second film in the Stuttgart Nights Festival.

This is an Irish zombie film. Even though I wasn't overwhelmed by it, I have to praise it for introducing new ideas to the genre.

The film's premise is that there has been a zombie epidemic raging in Europe, including Ireland, for five years. Now a cure has been found for the infection. People who were formerly zombies can live normal lives again. However, they retain their memories of what they did as zombies. About 75% of the former zombies have been cured. The other 25% are locked up and will be destroyed in the next two weeks.

The problem is that the people who were never zombies are prejudiced against the cured zombies. They think that they should be executed for their crimes, not pardoned as guiltless sick people.

The film concentrates on two former zombies, Seenan and Conor. Seenan goes to live with his sister-in-law, who fully accepts him, but there are problems with the intolerant neighbours. Seenan does his best to fit back in to society, and he gets a job as the assistant for a doctor working to find a cure for the other 25% of the zombies. Conor is more rebellious. Before he became a zombie he was a lawyer, but now the only job he's allowed to do is a street cleaner.

Seenan discovers that the zombies he works with are friendly towards him. They see him as one of them. The conclusion he draws is that the cured are all still zombies; the "cure" has only removed the symptoms, but they're still the same inside. Conor goes one step further. He says that the uncured zombies are his own people, so they shouldn't be killed, they should be freed.

This is a fascinating film, but it's obviously a parable of the religious conflicts in Ireland. The clean and the cured represent the Protestants and the Catholics respectively.

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