written by Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja, based on the poem by Harry Martinson
directed by Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja
by Bill Chambers The opening credits of Aniara, the debut feature from short-film hyphenates Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja, scroll like closing credits over images of earthly disasters, because of course they do: this is the end. Mars is the new West, and what's left of humanity--many of those faces scarred or disfigured without comment--is packed aboard a new Noah's Ark bound for the red planet. It will take three weeks, but in the meantime enjoy all the amenities and luxuries of a high-end spa, and be sure to take advantage of the Mima lounge, where a digital godhead will tap into your memories and provide a soothing mental escape to Earth as you once knew it. Unfortunately for the colonists, a rogue screw strikes the ship's hull and Aniara is forced to empty its fuel tank. The captain, Chefone (Arvin Kananian), claims they just need to catch the orbit of a celestial body to get back on course, something that will take two years, max; the captain lies. MR (Isabelle Huppert-esque Emelie Jonsson) is a "mimarobe," sort of a combination tech support/apostle for Mima, which becomes a very popular attraction over time. So much so that it gets overwhelmed by all the despair it's having to tranquilize, and self-destructs. Although MR warned him of this outcome, Chefone disciplines her for it, because Mima was the opiate for Aniara's masses. Not their god, though--he, in his unchecked power, his command of his own "planet," is God, and he's decided to be the Old Testament kind.