This small film may not be one that is on anyone’s radar, but Daniel Raboldt makes a leap in directing by telling this huge dystopian story. With a budget coming from a Kickstarter project, A New World Order places its two lead protagonists Tomasz (Stefan Ebel) and Lilja (Siri Nase) in a fight for survival in a war against the machines.
It is easy to see the influences within the narrative of the story, and this film is far from original. The story does not reach the limits of other stories such as A Quiet Place, and that does cause the pacing of the story to falter in this 90-minute runtime. With no dialogue, there is no simple way of setting up the characters and the relationships and whilst I admire Raboldt’s attempt to do so, it is still ineffective.
There are other technical elements that don’t work as well as intended, but what I admire is that Raboldt took risks within this film. The sound design fluctuates between these quiet elongated scenes before presenting us with ear-deafening backing tracks that take the audience out of the moment. There are some great moments of acting within the film by Ebel and Nase, but there are times when they go over the top, especially Ebel.
However, what makes this film an interesting project is how Raboldt can create what is such a fascinating world. On what is such a small budget for a dystopian project like this, the visual work done is impressive and yet the world still feels lived in. Yes, there are scenes in this that show the low budget and moments of cinematography that do not work as intended. Despite that, there is a clear eye for detail here and Raboldt takes risks and has a lot of fun with the subject matter, something that is admirable in the world of dystopian fantasy.
There are also sequences within this film that are wonderfully crafted and written, coming from a place of heart and passion for filmmaking. In particular, Raboldt is able to land the ending of this story by adding heart to the narrative and using very familiar techniques to create a conclusive and impactful final sequence. Whilst I do wish the story was able to keep me hooked for the film, I am excited to see what Raboldt does in the future and I hope that someone gives him a bigger budget to execute his vision further.
A New World Order is available digitally