“H.” is an odd and mysterious film that inhabits an obscure place in the apocalyptic genre of film storytelling, filled with symbolism that may or may not hold meaning. Its story line is built around the apocalypse, but on a micro level, showing how the apocalypse might look like to individuals as it affects them directly or personally. The cinematography enhances the mood with the icy coolness of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
The story revolves around a burst of light in the sky that precipitates a series of various strange behaviors within the general populace of the city of Troy and its surrounding area. The ancient city of Troy is a theme played upon here, as two of the main characters are named Helen, without really directly referencing the ancient city or its history. There are people who disappear mysteriously, others find themselves inexplicably drawn to an area near a lake to hibernate, while others drift into narcoleptic moments in domestic settings.
One storyline involves an older woman who’s part of the rebirth community. The story includes the older Helen, Robin Bartlett’s character, waking up in the wee hours to feed this rebirth baby. She later introduces the audience to the phenomenon of rebirth at a get-together. This was an eyebrow raiser that was only topped by the humanimal scene later. Humanimal are a community of people who take on the persona of certain animals as a genetically altered human with animal attributes, or with a physical resemblance to a particular animal. In this case, in “H.”, it’s a horse or black stallion (Humanimals are not furries!). The other Helen, played by Rebecca Dayan, has a faux pregnancy and a troubling encounter with the humanimal that ends the arc of the story in a dark and foreboding way.
“H.” moves steadily and methodically to its end peppered with unexpected vignettes and symbols with enough quirkiness to keep an audience engaged for the length of the movie. It’s a bit of a mind f*ck and if that’s your thing, then this movie is definitely worth a watch.