Imagine life without a memory. How does one form a future with no memory of the past? Independent science fiction film “Embers” focuses on five different, interwoven stories after a global epidemic occurs where everyone suffers from amnesia.
One story-line is about a couple’s struggle to maintain their relationship in fear of forgetting each other altogether. Another story is about a girl living in a safe house bunker and her inner debate on whether or not to risk contracting the amnesia virus in exchange for freedom.
Other stories include a boy in search for a new life beyond the city after his guardian disappears, a professor in search for a cure, and a violent young man and his will to survive.
Although this film is a fictional tale of a post-apocalyptic world, “Embers” also raises awareness about those that suffer from memory loss.
The characters in “Embers” suffer from a retrograde like amnesia — they are able to form new memories, but are not able to recall previous ones. Retrograde amnesia is a side effect of a Traumatic Brain Injury. The CDC reports that for those hospitalized due to a TBI, a little less than half may live up to a year with memory function deficits along with other disabilities.
“Embers” was shot in several locations including an old, Polish World War II bunker that is 10 stories underground with an over 30 kilometer network of tunnels.
The film premiered at the Oldenburg International Film Festival in 2015. “Embers” also recently won the Narrative Feature Jury Award at the New Orleans Film Festival and was selected “winner” at the Oxford Film Festival.
The film was written by Charles Spano and Claire Carre. Carre also directed and edited “Embers.”
“I wanted to use the sci-fi concept of a world without memory to explore the importance of memory in each of our lives and as a civilization,” Carre said. “Who would each of us be without the story we tell ourselves of who we have been?”
Actor Jason Ritter stars in “Embers” as the character of Guy. Ritter is known for his roles in television series “Parenthood,” “Gravity Falls,” Girls” and “Joan of Arcadia.”
“Embers” is the second of three films showing at ETSU this semester as a part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.
Filmmakers Carre and Spano will participate in a question-and-answer session after the film.
“I love talking with audiences at festivals after screening the film,” Carre said. “For so long the film was something that just existed on my hard drive. It’s very exciting to share it with others and have a dialogue about the film. If watching the film starts a conversation about memory, I’m happy.”
The film will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the D.P. Culp University Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on “Embers,” visit embersmovie.com.