We can’t quite seem to leave the dystopian imagery behind us at this moment, can we? Perhaps as some sort of reflection of the existential anxiety that many of us feel in modern society every day, our cinema landscape continues to be populated by tales of humanity as it crumbles. Latest is the first trailer for director-star Casey Affleck’s Light of My Life, which takes place in a setting where all the world’s women have been killed by a mysterious plague. All except one, that is: Affleck’s young daughter, who travels with him disguised as a boy.
It’s a premise that immediately conjures up a bevy of similarities to other works, from the reverse scenario (all men have seemingly died) presented in Bryan K. Vaughn’s famous comic Y: The Last Man, to the “no children can be born” hopelessness of Children of Men. The intense suspicion toward anyone one meets on the road, combined with the memory of the plague, also calls to mind 2017’s It Comes at Night, which also starred Joel Edgerton as a man obsessed with protecting his family in the wilderness.
This trailer, meanwhile, plays up the importance of Affleck keeping his daughter’s identity a secret, hinting at the terrible things that might happen to her if the desperate men of Earth somehow discover there’s a young girl who was spared from the plague. Elisabeth Moss also appears in a few clips, which we can safely assume are flashbacks. One has to wonder, even if Affleck’s character succeeds in keeping his daughter safe, how the film might be able to exude any kind of air of hope when mankind is presumably doomed.
As others have also observed, there seems to be a certain eyebrow-raising quality to the thought of Affleck, whose career has been plagued by sexual harassment accusations, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement, writing and directing a film where all the troublesome women have shuffled off that mortal coil. One wonders if Light of My Life will draw more criticism for its themes during its release.
The film is scheduled to open in theaters, on demand and digital in just a few days, on Aug. 9, 2019. Check out the full trailer below.