One of the most interesting aspects of any quality dystopia is not necessarily the magnitude of the political, ecological, or religious catastrophes defining the fictional universe but the way in which the characters access their resources in this confrontation with absolute evil. ‘Horizon‘ has, in this sense, many similarities with books or movies like “The Road”, but the talent with which Daniele De Muro exposes this possible scenario of human cataclysm convinces with its special expressiveness. However, despite more or less intentional similarities, this metaphor-dystopia evolves at different levels compared to the narrative convention of a classic one. Thus, the director opts for a fragmentary and sensory progression, lacking dialogue, giving the project an although suffocating and terrifying yet extremely poetic atmosphere. This universe depicting a twilight of humanity, in an almost desert light, and with the absence of a consistent narrative thread, touches emotional areas for the viewers, who instead witness a translucent reverie or even a sensory symphony about human endurance, rather than witnessing a cliché-like battle between Good and Evil.


In a manner similar to that in which the director illustrates this silent, timeless post-apocalyptic space, the characters are constructed in diffuse shades, driven, on the one hand, by survival instincts and, on the other hand, by moral principles through which they try to save those few remnants of compassion. Beyond the instrumental music that seems to glue even better on the viewer’s retina that opalescent light, there is something fascinating and disturbing in this mutism that takes the dehumanization of the characters to another level, as if the extinction of language coincides, in fact, with the extinction of human identity itself. As a consequence, the great merit of the project signed by Daniele De Muro is to eliminate any narrative “surplus” to let the image accurately reproduce the universal states and manifestations of the characters and their humanity. We know that a concept like “poetic dystopia” might sound to many people out there oxymoronic or even cynical. And yet ‘Horizon’ manages to meet such stylistic demands, giving us a profound and somewhat invigorating experience, compared to the great recent cinematic dystopias.


For the sensitivity with which it illustrates this sad poem of a possible extinction scenario and for the talent with which the director orchestrates the components of this fictional universe to provide us with a strong sensory and emotional experience, ‘Horizon’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in May 2021 edition of TMFF.