Whilst the gap between rich and poor continues to grow wider with each passing year, a new unwelcome industry sector has gained prominence within the western world. The gig economy and zero-hour contracts are just the latest blights on society. They allow employers to get richer, by offering commitment-free employment, but afford workers little or no job security or benefits. Noah Hutton’s new film, Lapsis, takes place on a near-Earth, alternate present, highlighting these and other issues.

Set in a parallel present society, Ray (Dean Imperial) struggles to make ends meet as a delivery driver. He’s tried every hustle and scam, but has come to the realisation that he’s never going to be able to pay for his younger brother (Babe Howard) medical treatment. Desperate, the decides to take a job in a new booming industry, laying miles of cable across the countryside in order to facilitate the new quantum trading market. As a technophobe, Ray’s in for a sharp learning curve and more than a few surprises along the way. 

Lapsis is an ingenious social satire wrapped inside an intelligent sci-fi parable. Whilst much of Ray’s world is familiar, Hutton constructs a wholly believable environment around him. It feels real, which is testament to the talent on either side of the camera. The beleaguered cabler is given a clear choice, accept what you know is wrong or join others and make a stand. Lapsis is both a scathing critique of modern capitalism and a fascinating lo-fil science fiction marvel.

Lapsis screens on demand at Fantasia Festival.