The Late Show
Switzerland, 2009, 107 minutes
Fri, Apr 23 / 10:30 / Kabuki / CARG23K
Mon, Apr 26 / 6:30 / Kabuki / CARG26K
Thu, Apr 29 / 3:30 / Kabuki / CARG29K
In the year 2267, Earth is uninhabitable and most humans live in orbit. Only the very lucky or very wealthy get to live on a paradisiacal planet named RHEA. In order to make enough money to join her sister on RHEA, Dr. Laura Portman signs on to the cargo freighter Kassandra, headed on a lengthy, presumably uneventful journey to Space Station 42. But Laura’s discovery of what the ship has in its hold results in several murders and the unraveling of a solar system-wide conspiracy in this suspenseful, stylish and atmospheric science fiction dazzler. Evincing references to beloved films such as Moon (SFIFF 2009), Alien (1979) and Sunshine (2007), directors Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter show their fondness for the genre while layering their story with visual grandeur, unexpected twists and complex story elements. With a fraction of the budget of most big studio flicks in the same genre, they ingeniously depict a vertiginous spaceship full of secret corridors and vast, vertical columns of cargo. The script vividly contrasts the tensions of shipboard life with the solitude of space and the glorious existence available on RHEA, while presenting several complex characters, including a security officer with mysterious motives and a sinister female captain. Finally, there’s the continuous sense of dread that builds markedly as the mystery unravels and the true nature of the Kassandra’s mission is revealed. Potently combining environmental concerns with outer space chills, Cargo—billed as Switzerland’s first sci-fi film—offers stylish entertainment with a brain.