Summary:

In the year 1936 a global war begins.  This war drags out over many decades until most of the people still alive (mostly those born after the war started) do not even know who started it or why.  Nothing is being manufactured at all any more and society has broken down into primitive localized communities.  In 1966 a great plague wipes out most of what people are left but small numbers still survive.  One day a strange aircraft lands at one of these communities and its pilot tells of an organization which is rebuilding civilization and slowly moving across the world re-civilizing these groups of survivors.  Great reconstruction take place over the next few decades and society is once again great and strong.  The world's population is now living in underground cities.  In the year 2035, on the eve of man's first flight to the moon, a popular uprising against progress (which some people claim has caused the wars of the past) gains support and becomes violent.

plot summary written by Kevin Steinhauer



Socio-historical Context
"I probably killed her family and now I dropped gas on her and I gave her my mask.  The whole thing is kind of funny. (Laughs as he takes his last breath).

* This is evidence of the emergence of the apocalyptic imagination in Things to Come because of its implication toward the end time and the notion of human control over its outcome.


Picture of Everytown in 2036

Discussion of change between Cabal and Passworthy
Oswald Cabal:  "Our fathers and our father's fathers cleaned up the old order of things because it killed children.  It killed those who aren't prepared to die.  Because it tormented people in vain. Because it outraged human pride and dignity. Because it was an ugly spectacle of waste."

* The filmmaker's apocalyptic imagination was influenced by these theories because he portrays Everytown as appreciating structure and order in the society that the chief had planned but it was beginning to be seen as repressive and conflict ridden. Whereas social change and the "New World" (pictured above) was seen as emancipatory.



Connections to the Book of Revelation

Similar Structure

Realization of possible establishment of New World

Recognition of Messiah figure in film:
In Things to Come Rowena states that Cabal "brings in the breath of something greater."  Oswell Cabel is sent form the organization 'Wings Over the World' who stand for 'Law and Sanity' and plan to restore civilization form its advanced scientific base on the Persian Gulf.
 


The arrival of the savior, Oswald Cabal.

Rowena is fascinated with the town's savior.

Recognition of the Messiah figure in the Book of Revelation:
An artist's interpretation  <click hear for a reflection on the recognition of the Messiah figure>
 
Behold
he is coming amid the clouds
and every eye will see him, 
even those who pierced him." (Rev 1:7)


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