Another Earth

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What if we were not alone, really?

Let’s play the “What if?” game for a minute. What if there was life on another planet? (Seen this film already.) What if we could communicate with other planets? (Nothing new.)

But, what if there was another you? On another Earth?

This is the establishing question surrounding Mike Cahill’s feature film debut Another Earth. As blatant in the title, scientists have discovered “another earth” (deemed Earth II) that has come within both visual and communicative reach. On first contact, it seems that the new Earth mirrors our Earth. The same landscape. The same people. And (just maybe)… the same story lines. The latter of which becomes the primary curiosity.

I get it. It sounds like it could be some sci-fi travel adventure where Nicholas Cage makes a heroic journey to Earth II in order to save all of humanity and beyond.

Let me clarify. It’s not.

In fact, it is arguably more of a philosophical art piece than sci-fi. It’s driven by the questions. It’s patient. It favors visual communication. It creates tension. In other words, it admitantly fits the “rednow” genre quite well.

There is no doubt (here at rednow) we are deeply interested in the question “What does it mean to be human?” Cahill is seemingly interested in the same question. While on the surface, the narrative explores the reality of another earth and another you, this is ultimately not the primal question of the film. Back to the “What if?”

What if we were not alone?

Not in the “is there other life form out there” sense, but in the deeply personal sense. What if there was someone out there that knew exactly what it was like to be me. Someone that shared the same experiences. Someone that had the same questions. Someone that pursued the same loves. And someone that shared my mess.

This is the story of Another Earth.


Another Earth is currently playing in a few select local Art House theaters. If not playing hear you, no worries. It will be out on DVD on November 29th.