A Tragic Short Film About the Worst Crime You've Never Imagined

In this short film, based on a story by science fiction author Ken MacLeod, a young man can't believe his father is guilty of a crime that destroyed history. When you learn what the crime is, you'll find yourself in a fascinating thought experiment about the future.

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Scattered was written and directed by Joshua Bregman and produced by Victoria Naumova.

After a 15 year wait, Conal is going to meet his father for the first time. His father Keith is the world's most notorious criminal, convicted of a crime which changed history itself. Convinced of his father's innocence, Conal needs Keith's help to set the record straight. But his quest for justice takes an unexpected turn and Conal soon finds himself confronted with the unimaginable.

This atmospheric film is the first ever screen-adaptation of the work of award-winning sci-fi author Ken MacLeod. Scattered examines society's relationship with its past through a son's relationship with his father, and challenges our established ideas of destruction and terrorism through a crime that is as surprising as it is all-consuming. As all great sci-fi should, Scattered offers a vision of the future that illuminates the present.

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Learn more on the film's official website

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DISCUSSION

Would erasing all the books really erase history? Especially with the digital books that exist now? And even if you did manage to destroy history, people would still find a reason to fight each other. Some rifts run deep...where it's past the history written in books, and it's etched into the culture and layered through the experience of each generation. When has ignorance of our history stopped people from arguing?

Sidenote: Would it be possible to target paper without affecting plants? I'm assuming it'd be breaking down cellulose, which would be damaging for our flora. Maybe the film addressed that and I just missed it.