Monday, February 8, 2010

Sundance Films: Space Tourists

Title: Space Tourists
Director: Christian Frei
Website: http://www.space-tourists-film.com/de/home.php

Summary: Anousheh Ansari has dreamt of going into outer space since she was a child. A number of years and $20 million later, with the help of the Russian space program, her dream is realized—Ansari becomes the first female space tourist. In recent years, a number of private citizens like Ansari have been willing to endure rigorous training in Star City, Kazakhstan, and part with significant funds to spend time aboard the International Space Station. Director Christian Frei (The Giant Buddhas, Sundance Film Festival 2006) explores the impact of space tourism in the heavens and on Earth by adeptly weaving together multiple strands: Ansari’s joyous experience in orbit; the efforts of local villagers to claim black-market rocket debris; the observations of photographer Jonas Bendiksen; and the training of the next space tourist in line. Space Tourists examines the intersections of human enterprise and commerce in the final frontier. (Sundance).

Thoughts: Winner of the Directing Award in the Documentary World Cinema category, Christian Frei’s Space Tourists appears to have the quirky edge of a Cohen brothers’ film. Obviously, that is probably giving it too high of praise before even seeing the film and it will be interesting to see how Frei is able to pull off the multiple story lines, but if she does it well (and her past talents prove she can) then it should result in a fascinating documentary.

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