The end is nigh! The apocalypse is coming in three days. What will you do? Will you call your friends and family? Go on a drug fueled bender? Attempt to exorcise your personal demons? Why not all three? As humans, we are no strangers to apocalyptic predictions. Be it Nostradamus, the 2012 Mayan Calendar, or a religious rapture, there have always been people who feel that the world as we know it will come to an end. That our days are numbered and it’s time to find peace. Assuming you believed the world was going to end, what would you do? Who would you see? What would you reflect on? These are all questions that we are forced to confront at some point or another, and maybe the end of the world is just the nudge we need to work out our issues.
In Alejandro Montoya Marin’s sophomore feature, Millennium Bugs, we see our two lead characters battle with these questions as they approach Y2K, an event that many believed would end civilized life as we know it. 20-somethings Kelly (Katy Erin) and Miguel (Michael Lovato) are tasked with navigating all their daily struggles against the backdrop of impending disaster. As we learn more about our leads, we’re introduced to the struggles they face; be it familial pressure, financial struggles, or finding a sense of purpose. As a fellow 20-something, I can personally say these questions can take a hefty toll on one’s mental health. The only thing more difficult than working these issues out is acknowledging them and realizing you’re not in this alone. Our lead characters take a roundabout approach to finding what they’re looking for, but as it seems like everything is being taken away from them, they find out what is truly important.
These truths are found through confrontation. We see Kelly’s struggle to accept her parents’ passing, while Miguel navigates his parents’ expectations for him. These obstacles are hitting them at a major turning point in their lives and aren’t easy to come to terms with. The key here is honesty. We as humans do a fair amount of lying to ourselves. Some good, some bad. These lies build up and create mental dams that prevent us from actualizing and seeing what really matters in life. These barriers can seem impossible to tear down, but with impending doom right around the corner, things can hit a boiling point. Truths come out, relationships change, and we are forced to confront the reality of our lives whether we like it or not, but now that we’ve confronted our truths, what do we do about it? After all, the world is ending, isn’t it? If you believe that, then unfortunately the only piece of advice to offer is to hold those you love close, and pray to whatever you believe in. If you don’t believe it’s ending, your journey becomes more complicated, but far more rewarding.
Once you hopefully realize everything is fine, it’s safe to say you’ll have a new lease on life. With so many people believing in hoaxes like Y2K, it’s likely that you’ll consider, if only for a moment, that the end is approaching. In these moments, we have no choice but to hold each other close and reflect on the truly important lessons of this film: Life is too short to waste, and your true family isn’t about blood, it’s about who will be there for you in your darkest hour and care for you when you stop caring for yourself. For Kelly and Miguel, it took impending doom, but thanks to this movie, our journey doesn’t have to be so difficult.
Millennium Bugs celebrated its premiere at DWF and is currently looking for distribution.