Tired of self righteous Facebook memes? Then this play on collegiate philosophical minds games, may be just what the doctor ordered. The Philosophers stars James Darcy as a philosophy professor who decides to conduct a rather elaborate experiment with his students involving a well facilitated bunker in Jakarta. He poses the question to his students, when supplies are low and survival is a must, how important are you and what you can provide…really. It’s an interesting premise, but I couldn’t help wondering if Ethan Hawke was going to pop out somewhere. He’s good like that in films like these.
At an international school in Jakarta, a brilliant but mysterious philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty graduating seniors to undertake one final thought experiment in order to complete the requirements for graduation. The experiment is to be the most extreme they have ever had to face. Using the power of logic alone, the students must choose which of them would be worthy of a place in an underground shelter built to withstand a fast-approaching nuclear apocalypse. The shelter only has space for ten people, which means certain death for those that are not chosen.
The real-life world of the classroom dramatically segues into the imaginary yet all too real world of the nuclear bunker and the approaching atomic catastrophe. Forced to make impossible decisions, the twenty young students enter an explosive and highly stylised world in which the survival instinct reigns supreme. Murder, deceit, sex and betrayal become the norm as the students strive to survive the impossible scenario. In doing so, they take the audience on an exhilarating journey across multiple realities, each one ever more intense than the last.
THE PHILOSOPHERS will be screening at the Neuchatel Film Festival next month, and Fantasy Film Festival in August.