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Most predictions about the future of artificial intelligence suggest two possibilities: AI will either make us immortal or it will hasten our extinction. Aniara posits a third option: the unredeemable awfulness of humanity drives an artificial intelligence to suicide. From the country that gave us Greta Thunberg comes a staggering sci-fi eco parable set on a transport ship from a scorched Earth to a dormitory settlement on Mars. Aniara (the name comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “despairing”) is based on a 1956 epic poem from the Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson and explores the end of humanity in capsule form. And when we go, according to this wildly ambitious debut feature from writing and directing team Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja, it will be not with a bang but with a mindless plod of consumerism, a flailing grasp for meaning and the occasional space orgy.
One of many massive ships used to ferry the remains of the human race (or at least those lucky enough to buy a chance of a new life) from Earth to Mars, the Aniara is essentially a galactic shopping mall. It’s like the ship from WALL-E viewed through the prism of Tarkovsky’s Solaris.
On board is a virtual-reality AI therapy room called the Mima, run by MR (Emelie Jonsson). At first the passengers prefer to trawl around the endless retail options. But when a freak collision with some space junk sends the ship off course, the passengers turn to the Mima, which becomes a valuable resource. And like all of Earth’s resources, it’s plundered. A haunting allegorical tale, Aniara warns of humanity hurtling in the wrong direction and realising too late that there is no turning back.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Aniara review – stunning sci-fi eco parable | Science fiction and fantasy films