Take a ride to infinity on Aniara, the spaceship of the title, in a Swedish sci-fi import that warns about what can happen to earth and those who try to leave it. Co-directed by Pella Kegerman and Hugo Lilja, “Aniara” is an imaginative, well-made but bleak experience.
Here’s the deal. Earth has been destroyed, and survivors want to head for a new life on Mars. They board a spaceship that looks large enough to be a transatlantic ocean vessel. Not so simple. A collision with debris knocks the Aniara off its course Bad news—the ship will sail indefinitely into the great universe beyond.
The time involved is ticked off year by year until a final number that is daunting. So what happens to the passengers? They are increasingly needy in one respect or another, and on this ship of doom a key employee is MR, played excellently by Emelie Jonsson, who has the task of managing a room where earth’s refugees can harvest memories of their life on the destroyed planet. She must be dedicated to helping the passengers despite ever-increasing problems. Other cast members include Bianca Cruzeiro and Arvin Kananian.
Things get tougher and tougher, with MR’s task harder and harder. Trouble mounts for the viewer too, as the events get more and more difficult to watch. Despite the expertise with which this vivid, well-acted film has been made, it becomes unpleasant to see what happens on this unusual journey. A Magnolia Pictures release. Reviewed May 17, 2019.