The young heroines of Endzeit certainly have inner demons to wrestle with, but their pressing concern is to survive a trip across rural Germany in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Director Carolina Hellsgård (see interview) makes this a worthwhile trip on numerous fronts. The film offers a strangely romantic vision of a world in crisis: the culling of the population has allowed nature to flourish, giving central duo Vivi (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) and Eva (Maja Lehrer) a gorgeous overgrown landscape to traverse. Refreshingly, the narrative is unwaveringly female-focused, from its sensitive exploration of sisterly guilt to a strange cameo from veteran Danish actress Trine Dyrholm as mother nature personified. And despite obvious budget constraints, the brief action sequences are consistently pulse-pounding. Endzeit may prove too light on plot for mainstream audiences, but it’s one of the slickest German-language genre films we’ve seen in recent years.

Endzeit | Directed by Carolina Hellsgård with Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Maja Lehrer (Germany 2018). Starts August 22.

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