a withering post-apocalyptic story as intense as it is critical and recognizable

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The most interesting moments of ‘DMZ’ are those in which the line is broken between making a more or less reflective portrait of today and proposing a futuristic dystopia in which a second civil war has taken place in the United States, and both spaces contaminate each other. And they become futuristic moments in which we recognize the present or portraits of a bleak future towards which we see how today’s society is headed hopelessly.

‘DMZ’ is a thoughtful piece of science fiction that doesn’t seek spectacle or strong emotions, but rather raises certain questions about the destiny that awaits us. And he sprinkles everything with generous doses of drama focused on the troubles of a woman looking for her son, and which luckily goes beyond a mere emotional wink (as happened in part with ‘Black Crab’, also released this weekend of the week and that it did not work so well in that part of his story).

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Those responsible for this hodgepodge are Ava DuVernay (the acclaimed director of ‘Selma’, as producer and director of the first episode), Roberto Patino as screenwriter (also screenwriter and producer of series like ‘Westworld’ or ‘Sons of Anarchy’) and his most recognizable face in the cast, Rosario Dawson. Together they propose in HBO Max a series of only four episodes that adapts the prestigious comic Vertigo by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli.

In this context, we will meet a doctor who, after this second civil war that has divided the United States, enters the demilitarized zone that Manhattan has become to look for her son. Five years have passed since her separation, and life in the city is slowly coming back together, although our protagonist will soon discover that many people she used to know are no longer what they used to be.

war and people

Perhaps the main problem with ‘DMZ’ is that does not go too far into the effects of such a devastating conflict that has divided the country and has even created new frontiers. HBO Max’s decision that the story takes place in only four episodes (of which, by the way, there are only three available on the platform right now) often means that the series focuses more on the personal drama of the protagonist than on the war conflict.

Luckily, most of the time the two are intertwined. The doctor’s former friends are now part of a conflict in the demilitarized zone to rise to power as governor, and the search for her son ends up deeply affecting the riots that take place. We will not reveal more, but let’s say that the search for the son is more than just a plot hook.

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Unfortunately, and I’m already regretting saying this, the series is too short-lived, as possibly we would be more interested in a deeper dive into that future world and how it has changed after the conflict. Since he makes a remarkable description of that demilitarized zone and of the new eminently racial clashes that take place within it, it would be interesting to delve into the state of the country after a war that is eminently realistic.

Finally, ‘DMZ’, and despite its very interesting proposal (the least of all of them is not precisely its duration, although it backfires somewhat), it falls a bit halfway. But accustomed to series swollen to exhaustion, the conciseness of this one, where things always happen and everyone is interested, is a balsamic proposal. A pity that the possibilities gave to go much further.

The most interesting moments of ‘DMZ’ are those in which the line is broken between making a more or less…

The most interesting moments of ‘DMZ’ are those in which the line is broken between making a more or less…

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