Daniel H. Wilson has told terrifying tales of rampaging robots in Robopocalypse and Robogenesis, but in his Tor.com Original short story “The Nostalgist,” he tells a more delicate story that explores love, loss, and sacrifice. The plot is a classic slice of dystopia: “With properly tuned ImmerSyst eyes™ & ears™ the futuristic city of Vanille can look and sound like a paradise. But the life of a father and his son threatens to disintegrate when the father’s Immersyst begins to fail. Desperate to avoid facing his own traumatic reality, the man must venture into a city where violence and danger brew beneath a veneer of beautiful illusion.”
The story has been adapted into a truly lovely short film, directed by Giacomo Cimini and starring Lambert Wilson as “Papa” and Samuel Joslin as his son. Cimini creates a credible future world, but remains focused on the emotional core of the story—the love between a father and his unusual son. Both actors deliver wonderfully nuanced performances that bring the heartbreaking reality of the story to life. You can watch The Nostalgist below!
London-based filmmaker Cimini wrote and directed the adaptation as a follow-up to his award-winning debut, City in the Sky. The film premiered at the Palm Springs Short Fest in June 2014 (where it was awarded the runner-up prize for live-action short above 15 minutes), it’s been screened at festivals including Fantastic Fest and BFI London Film Festival, and has received honors including Best Short in the Generator 18+ (Fiction) Section at the 2014 Giffoni Film Festival, the Audience Award (Méliè d’Argent) at Trieste Science + Fiction, and best sci-fi Short Film at Leeds International Film Festival.