The year is 2039
The world has progressed into an amalgam of social media anonymity and dystopian programming
The penal system has been co-opted, allowing citizens to dictate day to day choices for inmates, such as what they eat and wear
As mega corporations attempt to evolve the concept into an entire town of programmable convicts, a group of rebels attempts to destroy the system from within
Division 19 is a film about the downtrodden, the effects big business has on the middle to lower class and what it looks like when we resist. It is beautifully written, masterfully executed from dialogue to character development and perfectly captures the pulse of current society with a futuristic twist
- Wesley Collins, Red Carpet Crash
Like a combination of the Truman Show, Hunger Games, and the Purge all mixed into one. What it does well is present a case of urgency for something that’s a problem now
- Robert Mendoza, Geekisphere
The film’s use of practical effects, set designs and real locations are a breath of fresh air. It gives Division 19 a level of grit and realism. The writing is smart and darkly satirical. Halewood manages to handle the topic with a level of nuance that’s unexpected and shows her talent as a writer. It’s worth a watch
– Dustin Kogler, Your Entertainment Corner
Full of action, spirit and style, this is a film which has the makings of a cult classic. Like Blomkamp’s District 9, Halewood proves that you don’t need a big budget to create a great, compelling and thought-provoking film
– Bianca Garner
Halewood manages to build a small but believable little space that feels appropriately sullied and ruined by over consumerism and an oppressive literal eye-in-the-sky Government Force, keeping tabs on every single citizen. Lead Draven does plenty good as a guy over-drugged and out of sorts, manipulated and dehumanised, trying to reconnect to what he thinks, or at least remembers as real life. Looks great and features a slew of strong performances
- David Duprey, ThatMomentIn
This movie is sure to keep you thinking, even when it is to try and figure out what is happening. In some parts, there are up to three stories running simultaneously and it seems like there is no harmony between them and it requires from a major effort from the viewer to keep up with the line of events. If you manage to get over this problem and get interested in the socio-political critique about how the digital world is currently moving and what it can become, this movie can be very interesting
- Dante Yurei
The ideas that drive this film are definitely interesting ones. Hardin is a great metaphor for all of us living in a technological age; a man whose privacy is sacrificed for the sake of corporate greed. In fact, his lack of privacy isn’t even a decision he makes, which is increasingly becoming the case even more in our real world… I’m going to keep watching the stuff S. A. Halewood puts out.
Division 19 certainly looks stylish, and from the dialogue, it is obvious that S.A. Halewood has a voice and view on the modern world.
Well-crafted, powerfully acted, and hums with contemporary resonance
- Brian Viner, Daily Mail
A cohesive vision of the future shooting with style to spare
- Oscar Goff, Boston Hassle
The film requires careful attention and thought. For audiences willing to put in that effort, the pay-off is more than worth the time
- Josh Hancock, Morbidly Beautiful
Division 19 hits this idea in a truly unique fashion with a smattering of suspense and is overall an incredibly smart thriller...There really is just so damn much to love here
- Ron Trembath, Train Wreck Society
The year is 2039. The world has progressed into an amalgam of social media anonymity and dystopian programming. The penal system has been co-opted, allowing citizens to dictate day to day choices for inmates, such as what they eat and wear. As mega corporations attempt to evolve the concept into an entire town of programmable convicts, a group of rebels attempts to destroy the system from within. S.A. Halewood's third feature film attempts to leapfrog past the expected tropes of the genre and focuses on the loss of personal agency in the wake of governmental and technological control with mixed results.
The script (written by Halewood) stays within the lines whenever it can, but whenever it breaks with tradition, Division 19 becomes far more interesting. There are minor gaps in logic that create a cyclical ambiance, which in retrospect, is perfect, given the subject matter. Wearing its influences on its sleeves, this film is a welcome foray into the dark side of the electronic age, a topic that becomes more relevant every day. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its production design. Halewood and her crew use various tricks throughout to present a lived in, used up world that is bifurcated into a hellish wasteland and a sterilized over-world of mindless consumption.
Linus Roache (Mandy) heads an outstanding ensemble as a corporate operative at odds with both rebels in the streets and professional rivals eager to unseat him. The dichotomy between these two levels grows thinner as the narrative progresses with agents from the prison population coming into contact with the upper echelons. Ultimately, there are pieces of a grand design hidden underneath the low budget veneer, and while they fail to coalescence into anything fresh, the undeniable grit of the cast and crew shines, particularly with an excellent cameo from The Wire alum Clarke Peters.
While comparisons to Blomkamp are unavoidable, Ben Moulden’s washed out cinematography creates a unique identity for Halewood’s vision. There are the usual trappings of a VOD science fiction film, yet, they are housed within an undeniably slick package, that ultimately pushes Division 19 above the rank and file. Available today for streaming on demand, Division 19 is a predictable, but fun sci-fi romp through familiar oppressive territory. Building upon ideas explored throughout the decades, it presents a dingy, soiled mirror of the world we live in today and more importantly, where we're headed. If you're more interested in the ride than the destination, this is an excellent popcorn experience that shows its creator has a lot to offer the medium - Sleuth