Crumbs—Sure, I know, you’re sick of all those Ethiopian post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies. Well, who isn’t? But this particular Ethiopian post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, from the Spanish writer-director Miguel Llanso, also has Michael Jordan worship, Michael Jackson veneration, a Christmas tree, toy dinosaurs lined up on a railroad track, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in orbit, a witch, a shrewd antiques dealer and a bowling-ball-return machine as a major plot point.
The diminutive, hunchbacked and remarkably appealing hero Candy (Daniel Tadesse), wanders through the wastes of northern Ethiopia, scrounging the crumbs of our apparently crumbled civilization. He and his beautiful, beloved Birdy (Selam Tesfaye) live in an abandoned bowling alley, idyllically for the most part, though Birdy is haunted by nightmares and visions and Candy sometimes runs afoul of masked bandits, sometimes wearing Nazi insignia, sometimes on horseback.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, this movie also has masked horseback-riding or Nazi-insignia-wearing bandits.
Anyway, when the ball-return machine mysteriously comes back to life one day, Birdy theorizes that it might be a signal from the enormous spaceship in the shape of an upraised human arm that’s been hovering in the distance, apparently dormant, for a long time. So Candy trudges off across the wilderness to see if she might be right, and if it might spell a brighter future for them.
Had I mentioned that there’s an enormous spaceship in the shape of an upraised human arm hovering in the distance? There’s an enormous spaceship in the shape of an upraised human arm hovering in the distance.
What I’m saying is, this one is enchanting: Dreamlike—yet dramatically satisfying in a way that deliberately dreamlike movies often aren’t—elliptical, unnerving, sweet and funny. I advise you not to miss it.
Oh, and one more thing—this movie has Santa Claus in it. He’s a skinny, violent-tempered Santa Claus who insists everybody go through channels when asking for presents, so he may not put you in the Christmas spirit, but he’s Santa Claus nonetheless.