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I've looked for this movie/series on streaming services for years without luck. Here's what I remember:

  • In color, English seemed to be original language.

  • I think I saw it late at night on a local PBS station, probably in the 1970s or later.

  • At some point, I think just before the movie starts, at least one EMP has been detonated. So, "modern" vehicles don't work in the affected area, but older pickup trucks without electronic ignitions still work.

  • For some reason, I don't remember it being a post-apocalyptic movie like Mad Max. There's still some civilization.

  • I think the initial scenes were set in a semi-desert area with hills, and for some reason I think it might have been in Australia or New Zealand (although I don't remember accents).

  • One scene I remember vividly: Two people are standing in the lobby of a hotel. One of them has a handheld box that functions as a wireless search engine. While the search is underway, a male voice says "I'm searching, I'm searching" while a bear juggles balls. I think why I remember this is because I watched the movie before iPhones were a thing.

  • I think there's a scene related to a space station (but I may be confusing this with Contact).

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  • I think you might be confusing a few things. If by Contact, you mean the screen adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, there was no space station.
    – Anthony X
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 21:00
  • Although then novel did have a space station I think
    – Andrew
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 21:07
  • 1
    Contact did have scenes on the International Space Station though.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 21:59
  • From a summary of Contact (the movie): Billionaire Hadden is now in residence on the MIR space station. We learn that he is dying of cancer. He tells Arroway that the U.S. government had contracted with his company to secretly build another second machine in Japan. He’s asked that Arroway be the one to go and take the trip.
    – Ken G
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 19:02

3 Answers 3

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Until the End of the World (Wikipedia)

It is a long movie (287 minutes for the director's cut) about a globetrotting search for a camera that allows photos to be taken of the real world and of dreams, and that blind people can view them.

It's a hard movie to categorise, I'd maybe call it an apocalyptic road-trip redemption story.

Act 2 is set in Australia, after an Indian satellite is shot down, causing a NEMP to wipe out all unshielded electronics. I remember a scene in the movie where a diesel tractor is towing a group of cars.

The search engine is, if I recall corectly, a bounty hunter's tracking computer searching for traces of one of the bounties.

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  • 1
    The initial cut of the film was, reportedly, 20 hours long. ... yeah this qualifies as "a long movie." 😬 Commented May 30, 2023 at 15:24
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    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas a subplot about a damaged Indian nuclear satellite crashing and causing the end of civilization is a puzzling addition to the film. Maybe watching all 20 hours would have resolved the puzzling addition of the subplot!
    – JBH
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 16:03
  • This definitely tracks on a number of points, including time frame (1991), the Australia act, a space station (from what I saw in the trailer) and the fact it appears to only be available for streaming from Criterion Collection. I'll have to shell out the cash and find the time to watch the whole thing, but thanks!
    – Ken G
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 18:25
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How about Dark Angel, from 2000-2001? It's a two-season TV series. The protagonist is a genetically enhanced super soldier, who escapes a lab as a child. Terrorist detonate an EMP weapon while she's on the run, and most of the computers and communication devices get broken.

The EMP pulse has degenrated the US into pretty much developing a country level society. The protagonist works as a bike courier in post-pulse Seattle. The super-soldier organisation hunts for her, and there are other beings like her too.

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  • As I misremember (having seen the first six episodes awhile ago), the pulse affected only the west. Commented May 29, 2023 at 15:30
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Revolution was only on for two seasons, but it seems to match; there was a blackout of all advanced electronics, but not exactly EMP-caused, so repair wasn't an option.

Billy Burke was a lead actor. NBC series Revolution

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    I thought of that too, but it seems unlikely that OP saw a 2012 NBC show on PBS in the 1970s or 1980s.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:15
  • Revolution is definitely post-apocalyptic, just not post-nuclear. And I found the need to read a comic book to discover the story's ending remarkably memorable.
    – JBH
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 16:05

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