In the sparse, tense Aftermath, a new ice age has dawned and every day is a brutal struggle to survive. Two brothers have each other and not much else, and though they’re constantly cold and hungry, the biggest menace they face is all too human.

It’s just under 20 minutes long, but Aftermath is perfectly paced, with an impactful story that unfolds without much dialogue (but is greatly helped along by striking cinematography). Director Jeremy Robbins writes of the film:

The story centers on a boy who still remembers what life used to be like before everything turned to ice – a childhood of birthday parties and movies and after-school cartoons. As Jem clings to his childhood, the responsibility for their lives falls to Cody, the older brother. He stays awake each night, rifle in hand, making sure they survive to see the next morning.

Robbins notes that the story is inspired by his relationships with his own younger brothers—one of whom, Noah, plays the wistful Jem in Aftermath.

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