The premise of DMZ is simple: Alma (Rosario Dawson) travels through a devastated New York amid chaos. The ancient capital of the civilized world has fallen in the midst of an unprecedented conflict and the character finds himself trapped in an unthinkable situation. Thus begins this strange premise, halfway between dystopia and a chilling version of reality.
DMZ from HBO Max is perhaps one of the best comic book adaptations made to date. And it’s because of his amazing and painful ability to combine fiction with something more pressing. A country broken by differences, razed for a fratricidal and violent war that shakes all spaces until total destruction.
Already the classic comic strip of the same name by Brian Wood, converted into the emblem of the defunct publishing house Vertigo, announced the horror. But its arrival on multiscreen doesn’t just craft a perception of an unfamiliar type of horror. Furthermore, it explores the possibilities of a harrowing future, in which the fissures of culture and society have become spaces of confrontation.
DMZ, predictions of a devastated future
The doomsday scenario differs from so many others in its combination of fear, destruction and sheer desolation. The terrifying landscape of a conflict that rises around its characters and its dilemmas from a terrifying conception of contemporary evil. What happens when everything we take for granted simply crumbles in the hands of hate?
The four-part series directed by Roberto Patino, Ava DuVernay, and Ernest R. Dickerson, among others, is relentless and disturbing. With history moving rapidly – and in some cases rushed – the history of the American Civil War II is overwhelming. This is due to the fact that the script is based on the possibility of danger and threat to the system. Too, what lies behind the anarchy of his fall.
In the midst of unprecedented devastation, the country Alma symbolizes is one that has failed in its hope for the future. And in the manner of the comic — praised and criticized in equal parts — DMZ reflect on the terror of imminence. A society on the edge of the abyss, the darkness that awaits it beyond, terrors and fears, which are maintained by a perception of chaos without precedent.
DMZ, the world after all known has disappeared
The series tells the story through Alma, who amid the hasty, hostile, and violent evacuation of New York City, loses her son in the fleeing mob. It’s a well-worn, and perhaps common, resource in similar dramas, but the show takes advantage of the contingency to tell multiple storylines at once.
Especially when the character becomes the witness of a fire that upsets him. One that also leads him to travel through a broken country and in the end, to try to understand it.
First, as the world’s leading power, it fell in the midst of its own pains and tears. At the other extreme, the gap that has created the possibility of a civil war of cataclysmic proportions that devastates everything in its path. American ideals have fallen and with them any conception of a future beyond total destruction.
Amid gunfire and a kind of brutality rarely seen in such stories, DMZ plays with the horror of the inevitable. The country the series depicts bears an excessive resemblance to the extremes of the present, to its darkest and most ominous places. In all its frenetic – and sometimes terrifyingly superficial – account of the consequences of discrimination and prejudice, DMZ terrifies. And he does this by setting up a scenario that ends up being realistic without being believable. Is the world as we know it about to collapse?
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DMZ doesn’t explain everything it could and for its third chapter, the feeling that the series could have been deeper and more explicit is inevitable. But perhaps this opening of the gaze towards a social and cultural possibility is enough to clarify its power. And also, the sinister aftertaste it leaves behind.
I am Bhumi Shah, a highly skilled digital marketer with over 11 years of experience in digital marketing and content writing in the tech industry.