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Sweden, Denmark · 2019
Rated R · 1h 46m
Director Pella Kågerman, Hugo Lilja
Starring Emelie Jonsson, Arvin Kananian, Bianca Cruzeiro, Anneli Martini
Genre Drama, Science Fiction

With Earth no longer inhabitable, the human race begins to leave the planet for a new home on Mars. One of the departing vessels, Aniara, is damaged beyond repair shortly after takeoff. With Aniara knocked off-course and drifting powerlessly out of control, the crew and passengers must wrestle with their fate's reality.

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What are critics saying?


Film Threat by Andy Howell

ANIARA has plenty going for it — a great concept, a coherent tone, an uncompromising vision, and an ending that’s the ballsiest thing I’ve seen since AI. Sadly these virtues are undercut by some unforgivable sins — it is boring, has underdeveloped characters, and has a childlike understanding of the scientific concepts supposedly undergirding the plot. One of those could be forgivable, but all together they spell doom.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

Yet while last month’s Claire Denis drama "High Life" will go down as one of the year’s ultimate masterpieces, the Swedish soul-crusher Aniara will likely be remembered as an ambitious if ultimately weaker curiosity: the "Antz" to Denis’s "A Bug’s Life" (a sentence I never thought I’d be able to employ, but here we are).


Variety by Dennis Harvey

This tale of a spaceship stuck wandering the cosmos after being forced off course is both impressive in its scope and intimate in its portrait of human nature under long-term duress.


San Francisco Chronicle by G. Allen Johnson

Aniara has an intriguing premise, and it’s even fascinating at times, but despite an excellent production design, it never gets off the ground even as it speeds through the cosmos. The characters are not fully formed, so we’re not invested in their futures.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

Kågerman and Lilja bring Martinson’s poem to cinemas with a stark beauty both in its sci-fi production design and emotionally wrought performances.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Aniara is science fiction cinema from the land of Bergman and Strindberg — sharply observed, just brittle enough to fend of sentiment, bleak when bleak is what is called for.


Boston Globe by Ty Burr

Parts of the film aren’t pretty because people don’t always act in pretty ways, and the speculation that such an event might create its own hermetically sealed reality, one increasingly distorted to our eyes, is intriguing, if not especially deep. It all plays out like a “Big Brother” reality show with 5,000 participants and no Big Brother.


Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

The bleak warning of this environmental parable notwithstanding, this is arresting, frequently unsettling, cinema.

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