Restore Point

With any advance in society, it is the wealthy who benefit the most and the fastest, factory owners reaping the rewards of automation while their workers face redundancy, corporations absorbing creative trends while artists see their work stolen by algorithms, private hospitals and insurance creating a two-tier system of healthcare, a trend which continues by 2041 even into death and beyond; making law is a slow process, but technology moves quickly.

Increasing inequality in society bringing with it an epidemic of violent crime, police officer Em Trochinowska has been assigned to investigate the double homicide of David Kurlstat, an executive at the prestigious Restoration Institute, soon to be privatised with the influx of cash this will bring, and his wife Kristina, immediately presumed to have been targeted by the terrorist organisation River of Life but the investigation hampered as the victims cannot be interviewed about the events leading up to their deaths.

Declared a rare case of absolute murder, Kristina not having backed up in months and so having no viable restore point while David’s has been wiped from the databases by a hacker, Trochinowska instead falls back on traditional methods, Kristina’s phone records indicating she may have been having an affair, the evidence leading to Viktor Toffer; a suspected associate of River of Life, why would she be involved with someone dedicated to destroying her husband’s work?

A Czech “science fiction noir,” Restore Point (Bod obnovy) borrows liberally from its predecessors in the field of research into resurrection and digital memory preservation, Dollhouse, Caprica and Altered Carbon, and set in the near and recognisable future it plays as a techno thriller where everything is overlaid with virtual reality enhancements, even crime scenes, with corpses represented by data constructs, but sometimes human vision is required to see the truth underlying the illusions and distractions.

Starring Andrea Mohylová as Trochinowska, Adam Vacula as her husband Peter, a concert pianist, Václav Neuzil as Mansfeld, a Europol agent assigned over her head due to the importance of the case, and Milan Ondrík as Toffer, a greater threat to the Restoration Institution than is suspected, unexpected help is found from Matej Hádek as Kurlstat, illegally restored from an older backup, unstable and missing the last six months of memories which are the most relevant, but what is fascinating in this cyberpunk dystopian vision of Eastern Europe is how little has changed beyond the superficial.

Examining the legal and moral questions of resurrection, it is a service available only to those who have paid their hefty dues while the threat of post restoration syndrome or “Frankenstein’s disease” hangs over those where an out of date restore point would cause a discontinuity between body and mind, and there are blind spots where director Robert Hloz has chosen to keep the story moving rather than provide explanations, but any film which re-evaluates life and death as it explores a new dimension in murder cannot be faulted for ambition, even if the answers are inevitably found by following the money trail.

Restore Point will be available on digital download from Monday 1st April



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