Thanks to Klop_Gob for an astute recommendation. I’m usually convinced when anything’s called Tarkovskyesque, a great weakness of mine second only to, well, Tarkovsky.
The comparison’s apt. Poetic and contemplative, Dead Man’s Letters may just as well read as Dead Mankind’s Letters, documenting the remnants of homo sapiens following a horrific nuclear fallout (Col. Jessup would say “Is there another kind?”). The black-and-white film toggles between bluish and yellowish tints, both of them extremely rough and spotty; this is sometimes to the movie’s detriment, but more often than not makes it look like this celluloid itself survived a nuclear disaster.
This is one of the most grim films I’ve ever seen, and the two crucial monologues deep into the movie (one humane and solid, the other robotic and nonsensical) are a painful but well-done conclusion. Hard to watch, but these letters were worth the read.