A man from an apocalyptic future travels back in time to undo a world-ending pandemic. Sound familiar? But we’re not talking about 12 Monkeys, we’re talking about a 2016 indie film you’ve probably never heard of.
Written and directed by James Morrison, Diverge (his first and only feature film) follows a man named Chris who lives with his wife Anna in an empty wasteland. In the background, you can see the smoldering remains of civilization
Much of the movie is free of dialogue, and Morrison said in an interview that he was inspired by the sweeping imagery of There Will Be Blood.
"I remember being in film school and as a kid growing up, people would say, 'Oh, movies are about the images and watching people do things. They're not just about dialogue.’”
The plot picks up when a third character arrives and catches Chris in a trap. It turns out Chris is responsible for the pandemic that destroyed the world — and he’s being sent back in time to undo it.
Back in time, Diverge suddenly transforms into an exploration of academia. A slightly young version of Chris has to choose between a stifling university job or a sketchy tech company. (You can probably guess where we’re going from here.)
Diverge isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s an interesting exploration of time travel, deadly viruses, and other sci-fi tropes. Considering the tiny budget, that’s all the more impressive. Watch it now on Amazon Prime or Pluto TV.