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Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World ***

Directed and Produced by Sam Baron, Kristie Miller and Jonathan Tallant

This biting satire is set in the small, quaint, community of Timeless. Life is good in Timeless, where everyone knows everyone and there are always fresh flowers in the Church. All that changes when the community is suddenly swept up in an outbreak of a new and deadly virus known as Temporal Fictionalism (or just TF). The citizens of Timeless are in a panic until they learn that infection from the virus can be avoided by wearing a facemask.

The citizens of Timeless, however, refuse to wear masks. They point out that the founding fathers of Timeless did not wear masks. As one citizen notes, when material of any kind systematically meets, or covers, either the nose or mouth, there is an immediate erosion of freedom. The capacity to do otherwise is immediately undermined by oral or nasal contact with material.

The citizens of Timeless vote to ban masks. But what of Temporal Fictionalism? The citizenry vote to mandate that people act as though they are wearing a mask. They call this Mask Pretence. They reason that acting as though there is a mask will eliminate the chances of contracting TF, whilst not eroding their fundamental liberties.

The film follows the citizens of Timeless as they, en masse, pretend as though they are wearing masks in the face of the outbreak. When the first citizen, Elmer, apparently dies of the virus, the mayor decrees that they must work harder to fight the virus. They must all act as though Elmer is still alive. Each day, Elmer is visited by the local women’s group, who chat with him and leave him casseroles. When more citizens begin to die, acting as though they are all alive becomes an increasingly difficult task: but one that the citizens of Timeless are determined to succeed in.

Cut to the end of the film, where we find the last citizen of Timeless—Bob—who is still, determinedly, pretending that the rest of the citizens of Timeless are alive. A timely reminder about the power of pretence. Three Stars.

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