Darkly poetic and visually arresting, Swedish duo Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja’s sci-fi film follows the fate of a marooned colony vessel and its doomed passengers.
Based on Harry Martinson’s scarily prescient epic poem on intergalactic doom, Aniara imagines the existential crisis of a human race without a planet to call home. The alternative? A shopping mall in space. With stark similarities to Claire Denis’ sensual and nightmarish High Life, this eerie Swedish sci-fi odyssey is a stunningly realised vision of cosmic despair.
“[In] Aniara, a spacecraft designed to make the voyage from a ruined Earth to a colony on Mars hits both debris and disaster. The turbulence from the impact soon passes, allowing the ship… to stabilize. The film’s plucky protagonist, MR (Emelie Jonsson), returns to her job with the crew – placating anxious passengers with images of Earth before fires turned the blue marble brown.
But once it becomes evident that the ship ejected its fuel… it is impossible to dream away brutal reality: without fuel, the Aniara and its passengers are doomed to drift in the infinite emptiness of space.” – Teo Bugbee, NY Times
“A masterful example of smart, relevant sci-fi cinema… is a spectacular debut of great emotional and intellectual depth, of immense narrative scope and scale, and of gorgeous visual artistry.” – Mark Hughes, Forbes
( NZIFF 2019 )