Another Earth to redeem life

Suppose you have done something terrible, like driving a car while drunk and killing an entire family?

Suppose there exists another Earth with another you, living a parallel life; and you have a chance to travel there and perhaps change things, and redeem yourself? Would you?

Another Earth is a sci-fi movie based on this interesting premises. It was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival early in 2011.


The story is straightforward. Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling) is a brainy young student accepted into MIT’s astrophysics programme. Distracted and drunk while driving one night, she causes an accident that kills the entire family of a music composer, John Burroughs (William Mapother), leaving the man in a coma.

The distraction is caused by her gazing out at a blue object in space. It is another planet, Earth 2, hidden until then behind the sun. Rhoda receives a four-year jail term.

Upon release, Rhoda goes to John's home to apologise or ask forgiveness but chickens out at the last moment. Instead she introduces herself as an employee of a cleaning service offering a free trial. The composer, gone to seed and the bottle following the loss of his family, could use some house cleaning. So Rhoda winds up going weekly to the lovely old white house without telling John of their tragic connection.

A relationship develops when the composer discovers the inquiring, restless mind of the young woman. Slowly he awakens from a second, self-induced coma to rejoin the human race.

Meanwhile, Earth 2 looms larger and larger in the sky. What if people could confront themselves in a parallel continuum? Could things possibly be different and tragic events like the accident didn’t happen?

Everything comes to a head when Rhoda enters a contest to be among the passengers on the first space ship that will fly to Earth 2, an opportunity for her to reach out to this alternate reality.

If you have another chance to re-live your life, what would you do differently? – April 2011


Another Earth the movie