Black Flies

Black Flies
Black Flies
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Black Flies (also known as Asphalt City) stars Tye Sheridan as a rookie paramedic named Ollie who is assigned to the NYC night shift with an older and more experienced partner named Gene (Sean Penn).

The streets of New York are dangerous, as Ollie soon finds out. The movie shows the personal hell he goes through when he moves from patient to patient on his first few nights of work. 

Ollie learns that he can’t save everyone – something that doesn’t sit well with him since all he wants to do is help people. But at the end of the movie, when he’s about to give up hope, something happens that changes everything. 

What do we know about Ollie?

Ollie is studying medicine. He loves his studies and his new job so much so that he decides not to take a second job even if it means living in a squalid Chinatown apartment with others.

In parts of the film, we see him walking around New York in a jacket with angel wings on its back. This is significant because he sees himself as an angel – somebody who can save people. 

This desire to help people has likely come from an event which happened years ago. When he was just a kid, his mother died in front of him in their bathtub; she had taken her own life. He couldn’t save her but now, as a paramedic, has the chance to save others.

But this isn’t always possible as he finds out throughout the movie. His experiences on the streets begin playing terrible tricks on his mind and soul once he realizes how powerless they make him feel at times — almost driving him insane under unbearable strain brought about by situations over which sometimes little control may be exercised.

What do we know about Gene?

Gene is older and wiser than Ollie due to having been on this job for many years longer; henceforth more knowledgeable about its intricacies. He’s seen the filth and deprivation of the city and its people for so long that he has become somewhat desensitized to it. 

Still, he carries deep wounds within him; this is evident from his family situation: an ex-wife and a daughter whom he rarely gets to see. We also hear he’s been married multiple times before. 

The job having too much pressure coupled with long hours caused all his marriages to fail; despite everything though, Gene is a good father even if only able to spend weekends with his daughter. 

Things take a turn for the worse when Gene loses his job and wife tells him she’s leaving town together with their child – sending him spiraling downwards until eventually meeting a tragic end.

What happens to Gene?

Gene loses his job after mishandling a childbirth case; while visiting an HIV-positive mother who was heavily bleeding, something he does puts him on the wrong side of his superiors. 

The woman, having taken heroin as painkiller during labor contractions, gives birth to a barely-breathing baby girl; noticing this, Gene takes the infant into another room where emergency resuscitation can be performed on her; meanwhile Ollie does everything possible trying save mother whose condition also isn’t any good at all.

Ollie saves the lady; nevertheless, Gene fails to save the child. Or so he tells Ollie. As a matter of fact, it appears that Gene did not even attempt to save the kid at all. Instead of allowing the baby to return to her mother and possibly live a wretched life, he opted for killing the infant.

Nonetheless, other paramedics examine the baby and find out that she is still breathing. As a result, they are able to rescue her. His employment is terminated but he is offered an office job. He declines the position.

At this time in Ollie’s life, towards the end of the movie when he meets with him, Gene is deeply depressed. Shortly after this meeting while working with another paramedic, Ollie receives a call saying that there is a man on top of a building who might jump any second now. The address on record happens to be Gene’s residence so without wasting time he rushes over there only to find out that it’s too late –the man has already jumped.

Ollie knows what happens next: He kills himself because it was obvious from their previous conversation where they met earlier in this scene but nothing could have prepared him for what comes next or how deeply this will affect him personally.

What happens to Ollie?

As we watch through more depressing moments throughout his journey as well as witnessing firsthand that sometimes saving others isn’t enough; furthermore realizing death right before his eyes when a person dies right in front of him during one of many nights looking after patients which would be a traumatic experience

For example, while trying to help a gang member someone pulls a gun on him, then later finds a badly decomposed body laying inside a bathtub- probably image gives thought about mother warms heart again by meeting the woman who has been brutally beaten up by husband despite claiming innocence claiming she fell down stairs .

Yet none compare those which haunt mind knowing cannot ever become needed angel while earth before eventually turning thoughts towards ending own life while standing subway platform ready jump front train.

But unlike Gene, Ollie finds hope in his life. This becomes clear during the final scenes of the film.

What does this scene mean?

At the end Ollie is called to a woman’s house that he had taken her baby to hospital and told her Gene said it was stillborn, so he tells her what really happened and asks for forgiveness. The woman gets upset but when she hears about Gene killing himself she kind of shows humanity’s good side which was a big thing for Ollie who’d been seeing nothing but bad all movie. 

Things start to turn around for Ollie after this point too. He is then sent out on what would be considered one last job where there is a raging fire in a building and he has to go save somebody inside who turns out be girl lying unconscious on floor – something that gives him new hope because lately he has been losing faith in being able to save people – also manages revive her later visiting at hospital seeing doing well thanked by mother.

The last scene is important because it was the first time Ollie wasn’t ignored by others for merely doing his duty. We don’t hear what he thinks about himself but we may guess that after this woman responded so warmly towards him, she restored some of his faith in humanity. And when he was dealing with that girl, maybe she gave him back some confidence in himself too – believing once again that he could save people as well. He did not manage to rescue all the casualties but saved one life; perhaps it could have given him the strength necessary to carry on with this noble job.

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