Through the Thorns to the Stars (1980)

A group of dead clones are discovered on an exploded spaceship. One is still alive. Is she human or alien? Her memory is gone but she comes to find she is a genetically engineered being created to survive in a world ruined by climate change.

Movie description:

Through the Thorns to the Stars AKA Per Aspera Ad Astra is a Soviet science fiction film made in 1980. The story is by KirBulychov, directed by Richard Viktorov, and stars Yelena Metyolkina and UldisLieldidz.

Synopsis:

After the discovery of a live clone on a destroyed spaceship she is brought back to Earth and assimilated into the family of the man who found her. As she slowly recovers her memories she finds that she was created by a scientist exiled from his home planet for protesting against corruption and catastrophic climate change.

Praise and critiques:

This two part film with a highly original story revolves around a cloned woman found on a derelict spaceship. As with much Soviet cinema the story is dialog driven and only features minimal special effects, often using lighting to create a sense of atmosphere. Much of the effects are simple, slowed down, sped up, and very practically the zero gravity scenes are filmed underwater. The woman found on the space craft conveys her alien-ness through movement, causing me to suppose that she is a dancer of some sort, and it is an effective technique without having to resort to camera tricks. The interior design of the spaceships is worth is it alone, and the exteriors are really cool models (the best way to make spaceships for film in my opinion). It also features non-humanoid aliens, and a few corny robots which seem to have been included for comic relief. Over-all it is a wonderful film that is both visually pleasing and also goes into philosophical questions about being human.

Recommendations:

A must see for fans of soviet science fiction. If you enjoy slower paced, more psychological films, this one is for you.

Rating:

4 out of 5. For a fairly low budget film it was really enjoyable and had a great script.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviewed By:

Jean-Paul L Garnier
Jean-Paul L Garnier

Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives and writes in Joshua Tree, CA where he is the owner of Space Cowboy Books.

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