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IFFBoston Review: Another Earth

Posted May 5, 2011 by Max in Festivals/Conventions


Science-Fiction only plays in the backdrop of this surprisingly heart-felt film. Another Earth features the debut of director Mike Cahill and actress Brit Marling. On the eve of the first sighting of Earth 2, the seventeen-year-old MIT candidate Rhoda Williams (Marling) is involved in a DUI Car Crash that kills a pregnant woman and her son. Four years later when she is released from prison she wants to apologize to the survivor from the accident, musician John Burroughs (William Mapother).

John can’t seem to remember the young woman who killed his family and the records for the accident are kept confidential due to Rhoda being a minor. When Rhoda arrives at John’s front door intending to apologize she lies about being part of a cleaning service and strangely begins helping John anyway she can. The science-fiction elements come from the ever-present Earth 2 looming above. Rhoda was interested in space travel before the accident and planned someday to explore the universe. Her felony crushing those dreams she longs to win a competition for a voyage to Earth 2.

During Q and A, Cahill said the films The Double Life of Veronique and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind inspired him on the script of Another Earth. What if another version of you existed in the same universe? Krzysztof Kieslowski tried to make the connection in Veronique, but Cahill follows through with the natural progression of the idea.


The sound design of Another Earth is one of the highlights. The music was composed by Fall On Your Sword who give an intriguing soundtrack to Another Earth. With music composed by Scott Munson, John Burroughs plays the saw as a musical instrument and visions of space are easy to imagine from the sound.

If given the chance to do over a part of your life would you take the chance? This is the question Another Earth asks in its finale. While the ending is by no means clear-cut, imagining the fate of the characters is a rewarding affair. Another Earth carefully straddles the line between the two storylines to create a genuine science-fiction drama. Cahill and Marling are sure to gain a lot of fans when Fox Searchlight releases Another Earth later this year.


Another Earth
Directed by Mike Cahill
Starring Brit Marling and William Mapother


About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.