EIFF 2015 – Index Zero

Jun 17, 2015 | Posted by in EIFF 2015
EIFF 2015

Lorenzo Sportiello’s Index Zero depicts a Post Apocalyptic society where people are categorised based on their perceived sustainability according to some vague set of criteria.

If you think this sounds familiar that’s because it is. Originality isn’t the name of the game here with every aspect of this film seeming to be stolen from some other work and re-purposed to fit this one. Depictions of a Post Apocalyptic society are a dime a dozen these days and this one does little to stand out.

The circumstances surrounding what happened to lead to this are never explained and the mechanics of how this society works are only vaguely alluded to with barely enough context to allow the audience to follow what’s going on. Everything that is shown appears to be a patchwork of ideas seen elsewhere.

Despite the fact that Index Zero is the title it’s never made especially clear what that means. Those at zero are fully sustainable and apparently this is achieved by obeying a disembodied computer voice that tells you how to live your life. It could be seen as a send up of a corporate environment where people are under the illusion that blindly doing what they’re told will get them somewhere in life but the idea isn’t developed enough to attach any sense of symbolism to it.

Index ZeroThe lead characters are similarly difficult to invest in. Neither of them are named on screen but IMDb lists them as Kurt (Simon Merrells) and Eve (Ana Ularu) so I’ll go with that. They are so heavily devoid of personality that they are just a chore to follow. Kurt’s only defining trait is that he’s devoted to Eve and their unborn child so feels the need to rebel against the society that holds him captive in order to get back to her. Eve has absolutely no personality so I have no idea if she’s worth all the trouble that he goes to.

Most of the film focuses on Kurt’s efforts to escape the attempt to pull him into the sustainability fold. His reasons for wanting to remove himself from this is that they won’t accept Eve since she’s pregnant. Natural pregnancy is illegal in this world for some reason in exchange for some barely mentioned artificial womb equivalent. As with everything nothing is very well explained so it’s difficult to decide if this is supposed to be a bad thing or not.

The imagery is pretty standard as far as wastelands go and the contrast between the harsh conditions of the outside and the colourless design of the populated areas is completely obvious. We’re supposed to hate the establishment because they have no personality as seen by the way everything is designed. It’s a shame that this film fails to be original in any aspect at all.

I will say that the limited use of visual effects were very nice. The drones flying around and brief shots of other technology were all very convincing so kudos for making some good use of budget effects. It’s a shame that everything else is so superficial and blandly handled.

  • 1.5/10
    Index Zero - 1.5/10


A bland and lifeless Post Apocalyptic film with no originality in any aspect of the design or storytelling.

The society as designed is left vague in almost every way. There’s no explanation as to what resulted in this way of living and nothing is covered in enough detail to give appropriate context. We know that “Index Zero” is a coveted goal that few ever reach but we don’t really know what it means or how people are supposed to achieve it. We know that blindly doing what the disembodied voice tells you doesn’t get you there but we are never told what does.

In terms of the mechanics it all feels like an awkward patchwork from other better works. Nothing here ever goes beyond the realm of the superficial. It might be an interesting world to explore but we never find out enough to make that determination one way or another.

None of the characters in the film are at all interesting either. The two leads are almost entirely bereft of personality so are impossible to engage with. Kurt’s objective is simple but there’s no investment in him achieving his goal so it falls flat.

Most of the imagery is entirely obvious as well. Part of the world is a crumbling wasteland and the other part is a dull, lifeless and clinical devoid of any imagination or creativity. At least the visual effects were good from the drones flying around to the flashes of technology.

I really can’t recommend this one and there’s nothing below the surface worth looking at. The film as presented is boring and riddled with unnecessary questions. It expects us to accept the world at face value but it’s so preposterous that it’s impossible to do so.

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