Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja’s Aniara is a classic dystopian Swedish film that was released back in September 2018. The cinematic movie is based on a poem that Harry Martinson wrote in 1956. The storyline of this film centers on Aniara, a spaceship that carries humans from Earth to Mars. After irreversible climate change left Earth barren and uninhabitable, humans have no choice but to migrate to Mars.
Aniara’s three-week-long journey turns into a years-long trip after the spaceship is hit by space debris. The movie showcases the way these hopeless humans try to cope with their new life as they drift aimlessly through space with limited resources. The cast of Aniara consists of Emelie Garbers as Mimarobe, Bianca Cruzeiro plays Isagel, Arvin Kananian stars as Captain Chefone and the Astronomer that is with Mimarobe is played by Anneli Martini.
Aniara 2018: What Happens In The Film?
The movie begins with Mimarobe boarding Aniara just in time before the luxury spaceship takes off into space. A Mimarobe’s job is to monitor and handle the Mima, an AI that’s designed to look into human memories and simulate a calming virtual reality of Earth in their minds.
As immersive as this is, Mima is sensitive to human thoughts and feelings. One week after the journey began, Aniara is suddenly hit by a Space Debris and the ship moves away from its planned course. As everyone goes in panic, the captain of the spaceship, Captain Chefone, assures everyone that they’ll reach Mars after a few months.
Chefone hopes to use a celestial body’s gravity to propel them in the direction they were originally supposed to go. Mimarobe’s astronomer friend (Roberta) reveals that this isn’t true, as the only celestial body that now lies in their path is millions of years away.
Mimarobe doesn’t lose hope and tries to stay positive by focusing on Mima. With their journey to Mars now being prolonged, most of the people aboard started using the Mima. Mimarobe’s happy at first, seeing it provide a sense of peace to so many troubled hearts.
However, Mima is overused to the point that it ends up killing itself. Mimarobe’s put in prison for letting this happen to Mima. Isabel, a pilot on Aniara, is also put in prison for lashing out at Captain Chefone.
After 4 years since the ship went offset, Mimarobe and Isagel are released from prison. They come out to see that mass suicides are very common in Aniara and everyone’s lost all hope. Mimarobe is employed as a teacher.
Microbe and Isagel are invited to be a part of a strange sexual cult for Mima, and Isagel ends up becoming pregnant. She suffers from depression and tries to kill herself and her child after their birth but fails.
Meanwhile, Mimarobe hopes to create a beam screen that would project images from the Earth on Aniara’s windows. This was her last attempt to make things a bit lighthearted for Isagel’s mental health and other passengers.
A year later, Aniara discovers a probe that’s floating in space. Captain Chefone hopes that this probe could be holding some kind of fuel that they can use. Their short happiness is ruined when they find out that this probe does have some kind of substance. It’s just that they’re not advanced enough to use it yet.
Isagel kills herself and her baby, and Mimarobe is devastated to see this. Four more years pass, and Chefone rewards Mimarobe for her Beam screen. She notices that Chefone had previously tried to commit suicide.
Aniara 2018 Ending Explained:
24 years into the future of Aniara’s voyage, we see that Mimarobe and a few other survivors are seated in a small room and are talking about the sun’s rays as the ship goes into darkness.
Aniara’s ending shows that after 5,981,407 years, Aniara finally reaches a habitable planet within the Lyra constellation. However, there are no living souls inside it to witness the glorious moment. It was now just a cold, empty, frozen ship without any human life on it.
Aniara showcases the cold and lonely life of space. Throughout the film, humans consider themselves the center of the universe, and everything revolves around them. They carelessly destroy Earth and dare to move to a Mars as if nothing ever happened.
Once they reach space and Aniara goes off course, that’s when they start to realize how insignificant they are and how it would not matter at all if they were all going to die in that instant. Humans are just a tiny bubble in the vast universe.
Aniara also focuses on things like religion, relationships, human nature, and their coping mechanisms. When they saw no light at the end of the tunnel, Aniara’s passengers started making cults and religions which they wholeheartedly followed. This was just their way of coping with anxiety and fear-induced due to the existential despair.
Many of them were depressed and had lost all hope in life, including Isagel. It was only Mimarobe and a few others who managed to stay positive until the end; however, it did not help them enough.
The probe came as a miracle, a hope within the darkness. Unfortunately for them, Aniara’s scientists were not advanced enough to use the material it contained or was made of. It didn’t signify anything, but the fact that humans were ready to assume that a strange alien probe could be the help they had been looking for all along.
The human mind always tries to stay hopeful, no matter how absurd being hopeful would be, and the probe just further proved it. When Aniara finally reaches Lyra, no human would have been able to survive that long, unless they were kept in some kind of sleeping device that prevented them from aging along the way.
That’s not the case in Aniara, though, as almost everyone dies within 30 years of the voyage. All that managed to reach Lyra’s lush green planet was a coffin that once was home to hopeful humans.
What Aniara wanted to show was not the spaceship going the wrong way and reaching Lyra after so many years. It meant to show the way people dealt with such a grim situation and tried to live despite having so many odds against them. If only they’d never destroyed a place like Earth, none of this would’ve happened.