Once again proving that the rebooted Planet of the Apes series does not want to be seen as a crass, thoughtless blockbuster, 20th Century Fox has teamed with Vice's Motherboard to produce a series of haunting short films that serve to explain how society has transformed since the end of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
In the first short, which takes place just a year after the events of Rise, which ends with a disease initially caused by a viral drug, spreading across the world. In the sad, sweet first video we see a wife and mother quarantined, while her husband and daughter attempt to survive on their own.
The second—taking place five years out—shows the fear of a young girl observing the changing world around her.
The third is probably the most ambitious, examining how one gun passed between the hands of a number of people in the 10 years after the disease first began to spread. This take is especially interesting given that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a pro-gun-control stance, according to the review in Variety. "The 'Apes' franchise has always been a politically loaded one, and this latest entry states its left-wing credo in ways both allegorically implicit and bluntly direct," Guy Lodge wrote. "(You’d have to be pretty obtuse to miss the pro-gun-control subtext attached to misdeeds on both sides of the man-monkey battle.)"
Motherboard is also releasing a documentary today called "Island of the Apes," about an abandoned lab in Liberia now home to tested chimpanzees. You can read more about the history of the place and Betsy Brotman, one of the documentary's subjects, here.