A 2021 Film Journey: Day 26

Today was the hardest day I’ve had keeping up with this process. Work was long and constant today. Bouncing from one meeting to the next, I had little chance to ground and find any reprieve through the day. This combined with the depression that’s been having an increasingly large say on my mood made it so that I only wanted to turn on junk TV and idle my way to the end of the night. As much as that was my intuition, I knew that putting on a real movie would make me feel better in the long run; this project has been good for me in that way. To be especially gentle with myself I chose a film from a favorite genre of mine: low concept science fiction.

Aniara (2019, Dir. Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja)

Swedish 'Aniara' an angst-ridden journey through space

A quick definition in case anyone is not completely familiar with the distinction between low concept and high concept fiction. High concept is very plot/ story driven. The Star Wars films are perfect examples of this. In those films, everything is driven by a strict adherence to the plot. Low concept fiction instead deals with a premise rather than a plot and tends to be much more character driven. Aniara falls into the later camp.

The premise for Aniara involves an incident less than 30 minutes into the beginning of the film. 1 hour into a 3-week trip from Earth to Mars the space the space cruise ship Aniara is knocked irrevocably off course. With that relatively simple set up, Swedish filmmakers Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja explore a myriad of human behaviors all in respect to the premise.

Emelie Garbers plays the lead known as The Mimarobe and serves as the ever-decreasing hope for humanity upon the doomed ship. Through her eyes, the film explores the differing imparts the scenario has on everyone. In the first year, most people seem content to give into their vices. Every night is a party for those who want to drink and screw, and the Mimarobe controls a machine that creates an escapism world for those who can’t cope otherwise. As the ship approaches year 3, humanity reverts to its more violent nature. Suicides become rampant, and the men in power use any means necessary to cling to the remaining bit of artificial control that they have. By the end of the film, nothing resembling humanity remains.

Aniara was a perfect piece of low concept science fiction that I’m glad I forced myself out of my funk to watch.

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