Vesper by Kristina Buožytė & Bruno Samper [8/10]

Vesper,” a French-Lithuanian-Belgian hybrid, is a post-apocalyptic science fiction extravaganza dripping with murky atmospherics. In a world of mud and muck, shattered by genetic disasters, a young woman, Vesper, played with restrained, believable brilliance by Raffiella Chapman, spends her days eking out an existence trawling horrid swamps for food for herself and her comatose father. Nearby, a monstrous overlord (played with chilling force by Eddie Marsan) makes Vesper’s life difficult. Vesper’s stasis ends when a wan woman stumbles out of a wrecked flying craft, and she is forced to make huge decisions and to unfurl her homegrown biohacking skills. Dark in color, dark in mood, dark in music, Vesper offers bleakness and courage and a beautifully rendered ugly future. Very much arthouse but with a backbone of narrative spark, Vesper stands out from the current overloaded dystopian sub-genre.

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