Directed by: #MarleneEmiliaRios
Short Film review by: Brian Penn
The spirit of discovery is the inspiration for this thoughtful film by Marlene Emilia Rios. Its title is a story all by itself, recalling a legendary speech delivered by John F. Kennedy at Houston’s Rice University in September 1962. Kennedy mused ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard’. It was a seminal statement detailing the human condition and man’s desire to break new ground. In flashback the film relates the agony endured by the proponents of space travel; a fundamental need to do the hard things in life because they present a challenge; and not to take the easy way out. But what is the human cost and risk of losing more than we gain however noble the cause?
Angie Miranda (Sarah Flower) embarks on a mission to Pluto with two fellow crew members. A round trip lasting ten years requires a cryosleep to pass the time. However, Angie emerges from her pod aboard the Horizon and discovers something is very wrong. Her crew mates have died in their sleep and all food on board has expired by several years. The realisation soon dawns the craft has suffered a fatal mission error and overshot Pluto itself; they have instead experienced 60 years of directionless drift. Conversations with Nova (Marlene Emilia Rios) the on board computer system confirm the stark reality. Angie’s mind drifts back to those final, precious conversations with husband Gabriel (Carl Briedis). Did she really have to take this journey with its inherent dangers and face the prospect of permanent separation?
It paints an affecting picture of a woman driven by ambition but ultimately undone by a machine that failed to deliver. Are our lives and personal happiness worth risking just to prove how clever we are. The film simply puts the viewer in that character’s shoes; how would we feel in that position? The final frames provide an achingly sad reflection of Angie’s deepest thoughts. It left me wanting to see much more, always a good point to end a film.