Traveling alone in what appears to be the aftermath of the breakdown of American society, DAVID weaves through the destruction of the rural northeast. Desperate for refuge and companionship, he unites with PLINY, a veteran fixed on exposing the culprit of America’s demise. Allied through their convictions, they embark on a rough, off-the-beaten-path mission to the town of Hadley. There they plan to join the ranks of their fellow patriots in the revolution against the government program that has contaminated our water.
In a series of flashbacks, we meet JENNIFER, a single mother and human resources director at a laboratory. Jennifer discovers that her employer is covering up the contamination of a waterway by a powerful client in the arms industry to protect their profits and reputation. Making her own journey homeward, she must decide between providing for her family or blowing the whistle on a potential ecological nightmare.
With the obelisk in Hadley serving as their signal-fire, David, Pliny, and Jennifer navigate their way towards the truth. Battling the ramifications of a seemingly destroyed social order, David and Pliny crash headlong into Jennifer, revealing the film’s twist. Fueled by conspiracy theories and half-truths, our post-apocalyptic heroes have been traveling through contemporary America on a pizzagate-esque incursion, entirely lost in their own constructed reality.
Ultimately, The Obelisk shows us the tragedy of misinformation, manipulation, and the consequence of seeing only what we want.
Peter M. Marton
Running away from his problems and responsibilities, David is a lost soul. His social nature and naivete make him pleasant, but a lifetime of bad luck and poor decisions has left him isolated, scared, and easily manipulated. When the going gets tough, David gets going. It will take hitting rock bottom for David to accept his place in life.
From the outside, this group seems to offer a haven of community and healing amidst the ruins of their surroundings. Under the guidance of their charismatic leader, they play into the cliché of the autonomous, minimalistic settlements that we typically see in post-apocalyptic stories. They are not overtly harmful, but their interactions with our two heroes leave us questioning the complex interplay between free will and abiding by the rules.
Jennifer is a single mother and human resource director at a laboratory. Her determined nature and ability to embrace tough decisions have helped her work her way to a prominent position. Despite her steely business persona, she is a loving mother who wants to do the “right” thing. Unfortunately, going with her gut often clashes with her pragmatism.
Archer is a scientist at the same laboratory as Jennifer. He discovers a potential chemical leak at a client’s factory. Still, the lab’s leadership seeks to rationalize any possible consequences that could affect profits, even though it means ignoring their social responsibility.
Pliny is an army veteran. His work has left him profoundly disillusioned and suspicious. Upon returning to civilian life, he watched his marriage disintegrate and his friends suffer mentally and physically. His anger, fear, and frustration fuel his mission to reach the obelisk in Hadley, where he hopes to expose the truth about a top-secret government surveillance program he believes is the source of his and his country’s problems.
A group of locals who regard themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government. They unexpectedly cross paths with David and Pliny.