Currently showing from writer/director Jonathan Nossiter and Bleecker Street is the story of the future and what it means to have the LAST WORDS.
It is 2085 and the world has been destroyed! Kal (Kalipha Touray) is struggling to find food and water for his sister. Every move they make can bring them closer to either dying from malnutrition or at the hands of other people who are also trying to survive. After an attack from survivors, Kal is on the road to find something better.
Trying to find a place to rest, Kal comes across mysterious and frightening noises that send him running. Deciding he wants to confront his fears, he discovers a man named Shakespeare (Nick Nolte) who wants nothing to do with the interloper – at least at that moment. Yet there is something intriguing about Kal and Shakespeare decides to show him what caused the fright.
In the deepest part of the building, Shakespeare shows him the films he has managed to same from the destructive world around them. Kal can not believe what his eyes are seeing and hearing. He wants more and more and soon becomes a quiet roommate who only talks with Shakespeare when the elder gentleman wants to.
But Shakespeare decides it is time for Kal to go but when Kal pushes back, the two end up on the road to Athens to see if there are any others in the world. Once they get there, they are shocked to discover Zyberski (Stellan Skarsgard), Batlk (Charlotte Rampling), Dima (Alba Rohrwacher) and so many more. They have food, water and a view of the ocean that, in post-apocalyptic time might have been awesome.
Bringing the films and parts to build a camera, Kal begins to document living with this group of people with their smiles, stories, and good times in the midst of craziness. That is all about to change and Kal knows that he is the one responsible for documenting everything to, as Shakespeare said, leave behind something wonderful.
Touray as Kal is stunning, beautiful, with soulful eyes that tell the story from the characters heart and point of view. Trying to survive has one meaning in the beginning but by finding others, surviving becomes something more amazing. His world becomes so much bigger and more colorful with emotions that he takes into the core of his being. That’s what Touray does for this character, and it is mesmerizing.
Nolte as Shakespeare comes from the world prior to it collapsing into dust. He has the memories of a childhood filled with the things we take for granted and the wonderment of singing, dancing and the storytelling that lives in the film cannisters. Nolte has moments of sheer delight sharing time with Kal, and there are moments where the world he created for himself does not have room for anyone else. I just loved watching his character evolve.
Skarsgard as Zyberski is the doctor for all the people that have come together to live in Athens. He takes in Kal and Shakespeare without any question or any conditions. He makes it clear that they all share together, all live together, and he feels a sense of responsibility for all those in his care. Skarsgard is always the stable center of stories he is involved in and in LAST WORDS he does the same, but his character is also unexpected.
Rampling as Batlk is a woman who has made her peace with how they are surviving with a little surprise of her own. I am always thrilled to see Rampling on the screen. Rohrwacher as Dima begins to share feelings with Touray and it is so sweet to watch their characters share in the simple things like the stars. Both of these women bring a sweetness to the rough edges of a futuristic scary world.
Other cast includes Silvia Calderoni, Nicolas Sacrez, Giulio Esposito, Ivan Marzano, Roberta Mattei, Cosimo Desii, Andreina Liotti, Jun Ichikawa, Fiorenzo Madonna, Vincenzo Del Prete, Giovanni Trono, Maryam d’Abo and Osemwenoghogho Wilfred.
Bleecker Street is a New York City film company that has brought outstanding films to the public. Their library includes TRUMBO, DENIAL, THE LOST CITY OF Z, BEIRUT, HOTEL MUMBAI, ORDINARY LOVE and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN. For more information on the titles from Bleeker Street please visit www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com.
LAST WORDS is a beautiful look at relationships when they are stripped of everything but humanity. There are those in the world who have turned to very frightening ways to survive, but when Kal and Shakespeare find one another, it becomes clear that being alone is not always the answer.
I loved every scene that Nolte and Touray have together as they get to know one another and Shakespeare lights up when given the opportunity to teach Kal everything he knows about film. Kal also is a teacher in helping to release Shakespeare’s need to feel that being alone is the only way avoid pain.
Mix in Skarsgard and Rampling and you have such a wonderful cast telling a story that has lived life their way and on their terms.
In the end – he is about to experience life in the midst of destruction!