Earth has only got finite resources and with rapid population growth, climate change and an increasingly unstable political landscape our time on this planet might be limited to decades, not centuries. At some stage, we’re likely to need a new home. One within reach but which can sustain human life, one way or another. When the time comes humankind will need to make a mass exodus and one potential destination could be Mars. This is the premise of Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja’s new film Aniara.

Aniara is one of a flotilla of luxury spaceships transporting human colonists on their short journey to Mars. MR (Emelie Jonsson) is in charge of Mima, a sentient computer which allows passengers to experience heightened memories. When the ship is damaged and knocked off course, their prospects look bleak. Whilst MR’s room becomes increasingly popular, Mima cannot cope with all the negativity. Leaving the colonists and crew to fend for themselves.

Aniara is a strange and unsettling sci-fi which has a rather bleak outlook on the future of humanity. Mima is mankind’s ethical crutch. Her absence leads to a descent into animalistic tendencies, despotism, fake religions and a desperate need to belong. Based on a poem by Harry Martinson, which itself was a response to the hydrogen bomb, Kagerman and Lilja’s film investigates the intrinsic human need for purpose and order. Aniara is a metaphor for the problems of our time and the possible vessel for our redemption.

Aniara is released in cinemas and on Digital HD from 30 August.