|Genre||Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller|
|Company||Atlantis Pictures, Centauri Media, Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft (SRG)|
Cargo (2009 film)
Cargo is a 2009 science fiction film, the first from Swiss production and the first major feature film by Ivan Engler.
It is the year 2267. After the Earth has become uninhabitable due to an ecological collapse, the remaining people live on overcrowded space stations in Earth's orbit. The young doctor Laura Portmann (Anna Katharina Schwabroh) is one of them. She hopes for a better future alongside her sister on the distant planet Rhea (unrelated to Saturn's moon Rhea). As she needs money to fund the journey, she signs up with Kuiper Enterprises for a job on the decrepit cargo ship Kassandra, heading for an eight-year flight to unmanned Station #42 and back.
The crew consists of five members: Captain Lacroix (Pierre Semmler), Lindbergh (Regula Grauwiller), Yoshida (Yangzom Brauen), Prokoff (Claude-Oliver Rudolph), and Vespucci (Michael Finger). Crew members spend most of the fully automated flight in deep cryosleep while one person stays awake in 8½ month shifts to monitor the ship. Due to the current terrorist threat from the radical Neo-Luddite group Maschinenstürmer ("Machine Strikers"), there is also an additional security guard aboard: Samuel Decker (Martin Rapold). Toward the end of her shift, Portmann hears unusual noises from the cargo bay, and feels as though she is being observed. Her colleagues are awakened, and together the crew sets out to investigate the cold cargo space.
The crew discover a young girl in suspended animation inside a cargo container that was supposed to contain construction materials. Inspecting the girl's body, Portmann finds a "perfected" virtual reality connector embedded in the girl's spine. Later, Portmann sends an account of her finding to her sister on Rhea, and receives a reply in 20 minutes, rather than the usual matter of years. Portmann begins to wonder where the spaceship is really going and what cargo is actually being transported.
It eventually emerges that Rhea is actually a virtual reality simulation designed to keep the remaining humans hopeful about their future; the people in the cargo hold are going to be wired into a large mainframe, which is the ship's true destination. Upon discovering this, the crew decide to put an end to the deception. Upon arriving at their destination and while the ship automatically unloads its cargo, Portman enters the simulation to broadcast a "final transmission from Rhea", which reveals the simulated nature of the planet to the remaining humans, while Decker sabotages the mainframe's antenna.
- Anna Katharina Schwabroh as Laura Portmann
- Martin Rapold as Samuel Decker
- Michael Finger as Claudio Vespucci
- Claude-Oliver Rudolph as Igor Prokoff
- Yangzom Brauen as Miyuki Yoshida
- Pierre Semmler as Pierre Lacroix
- Regula Grauwiller as Anna Lindbergh
- Gilles Tschudi as Klaus Bruckner
- Maria Boettner as Arianne Portmann
- Noa Strupler as Kleines Mädchen