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’Aniara’ Screening With Conversation: Living in Times of Climate Change

What future awaits a world ravaged by climate change? RIGA IFF, in cooperation with the Latvian Fund for Nature (LFN), provides the opportunity to look at this issue from the point of view of Swedish directors Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja with a screening of their science fiction feature film Aniara. The film will be accompanied by a discussion led by journalist Sandra Kropa with climate expert Jānis Brizga, philosopher Artis Svece, Chairman of the LFN Council, Andrejs Briedis, and YouTuber and TV host Beāte Bērziņa (a.k.a. Beta Beidz).

Kågerman and Lilja’s film heralds a time in the future when man-made natural disasters have become so devastating that people have started relocating to Mars. On one of these voyages, a spaceship deviates from its course and the captain has to inform the anxious passengers that the journey to the destination could take up to two years, instead of three weeks. Although there are many ways to stay entertained on board, for example with the artificial intelligence device MIMA, which offers travellers the opportunity to virtually observe their own memories of Earth, suspicions start to arise among the passengers that they might never escape from their confinement.

In the post-screening conversation, the participants will focus on topics such as how to appreciate nature – both as individuals, as well as through our social processes – as well as seek to understand how much it is in our power to prevent that which seems inevitable – a life-threatening acceleration of the climate crisis – while at the same time living life to the fullest, rather than existing in a state of emotional exhaustion waiting for an apocalypse.

Although the topics covered in Aniara regarding the climate crisis are especially relevant today, the film’s narrative originated in 1956, from a poem of the same name by Swedish author and Nobel Prize-winner Harry Martinson. The story of the film is largely based on Martinson’s work, which the filmmakers wanted to re-interpret cinematically.

The screening will be available free of charge both online and in-person thanks to the support of the Latvian Fund for Nature, the project “Game on! Don’t let climate change end the game” and the Ministry of Culture. A ticket, or access code must, however, be redeemed before the screening. The film is being screened with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Riga and the Swedish Institute.


In This Screening

Pella Kågerman, Hugo Lilja

Together with