“Sciencefiction fiction is not prescriptive; it is descriptive.” - Ursula K. Le Guin
00c6 is a haunting and visionary new sci-fi web series from China.
In the year 2082, the female population of Hong Kong has been decimated due to decades of the Chinese government's controversial one-child policies.
Exacerbated by numerous natural disasters, Hong Kong has been abandoned by most of the populace as it is slowly being reclaimed by wildlife and the sea.
Ruling over the remaining population is the mysterious ae Corporation.
One of ae Corporation's primary businesses is conducting excursions to the islands formerly known as Hong Kong, where men are given the opportunity to compete for the companionship of women.
In reality, these excursions are brutal death matches in which three men must fight to the death, with the survivor "winning" a sexual encounter with one woman.
Filmed in various locations in China, the cinematography is some of the most gorgeous I've ever seen in a web series.
Misty valleys and vast verdant jungles help transport you to this alternate future. The sound design is just as lush as the scenery, yet it's very subtle. This helps to emphasize the feelings of isolation and desperation the characters feel.
However, what makes 00c6 most extraordinary is how the narrative is executed. The series creators chose a very minimalist approach.
In fact, none of the characters speak a word of dialogue.
You are required to pay attention to events as they transpire on screen. Information is not spoon fed.
This "less is more" philosophy is very effective in making the viewing experience more immersive.
Watch the intriguing series trailer here:
As I mentioned earlier, 00c6 is one part of a transmedia production including:
- a tumblr blog with password protected "insider" content
- a Flickr photo stream with terrific photos from the production
The one criticism I have is the problematic series title. It can be confusing, and I imagine marketing is more challenging because of it.
Still, 00c6 is a prime example of how science fiction can not only entertain, but also comment on relevant social issues of the day.
To watch the complete series, visit its official channel on YouTube.
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