Reflecting and Responding

Over the last two days, we covered how horror movies both reflect AND respond to generational fears, most recently the 21st century’s climate crisis.

Today, we’re switching genre course; Aniara approaches Woman at War and Slaughterhouse Rulez‘s catastrophic climatology from a high-concept, science-fiction perspective, one that will soon be more science than fiction. In doing so, this new Swedish flick both allegorically reflects the world’s general response to environmental disaster, and is itself a response to it.

A civilian spaceship escaping the resource-depleted, uninhabitable Earth is thrown off course, careening the passengers — a cross-section of the global population (SYMBOLISM!!!) — into the hopelessness of the vast beyond, as in: beyond hope of rescue. Like the best sci-fi, Aniara’s concocted surreality comments on the audience’s reality through juxtaposing their differentiated conditions. How does humanity cope with its relatively-imminent, practically-inevitable, man-made demise? The characters’ responses metaphorically-reflect and subtextually-respond to our own…or lack thereof.

Stray Take: Cue the American Remake in 3, 2, 1…Back in the olden days, it would’ve been on the big screen (and THIS Aniara boasts big-screen cinematography, making its predictably-dismal theatrical release all the more disappointing). But nowadays? It’ll be a boob-tube streaming series. As a durationally-finiter medium, film is truer to Aniara’s themes; which of the two better conveys mankind is a blip that, in the grand scheme of time, will end shortly after beginning?

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