“Do You Remember What This Feels Like?” Equals ponders a world without emotions

How do you handle affairs of the heart in a world where they're not supposed to exist? (image via IMDb)
How do you handle affairs of the heart in a world where they’re not supposed to exist? (image via IMDb)


Equals takes place in a utopian society where violence and crime have been virtually eradicated – via the genetic elimination of human emotion. People like Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) live calm, uneventful, drone-like lives. The two work alongside each other in a large office, creating informational publications and exchanging the occasional pleasantry. Life is simple, until a rumour starts to circulate: a disease has broken out, one that causes people to manifest emotions. If discovered by the powers that be, the infected are sent away, never to return.

Silas suspects he carries the disease, and when this is confirmed, he becomes an outcast. But he is drawn back to Nia, who is also infected but has managed to hide the symptoms far better than he. Upon discovering that they are similarly stricken, they need to decide whether to stay and hide or to run for freedom. (synopsis via Ace Showbiz)

Emotions, much like life itself, have a way of making their presence felt no matter how much you try to prevent them breaking through.

Try as we might to suppress the elemental parts of our humanity, they do as they like and no dictatorship, no religious line of thinking, no creed has ever succeeded in eradicating them.

And thank god for that, because for all the darkest expressions of emotionality, there are a plethora of life-affirming ones such as kindness, ecstasy and love, the latter of which finds itself front and centre in a society which long ago defined as surplus to requirements.

A totalitarian society which now finds itself awash, via a mysterious disease, in the very emotions it once so successfully suppressed.

This chillingly beautiful, highly-emotive trailer is a masterwork in setting time and, mood and sensibility, capturing the order and suppression of this supposedly perfect world while beautifully conveying how emotions are once making their way back into the fabric of existence.

It’s quite simply one of the most evocative trailers I’ve ever seen, a work of art that makes a dramatic statement about humanity and its refusal to ever go quietly away.

After premiering at the Venice Film Festival in September 2015, Equals in USA on 1 July 2016.


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