“Mars One,” Brazil’s submission for the International Oscar category this year, is a family drama about a boy who wants to colonize the red planet. The title that suggests sci-fi, which director Gabriel Martins found intriguing.
“It’s interesting that at first, it came just as the title of the true mission that (real-life people) were planning to do to colonize Mars,” Martins told TheWrap’s JoeMcGovern during a Q&A following a screening of “Mars One” that was part of TheWrap’s 2022-2023 Awards Season Screening Series. “And that gave me an interesting perspective that we want to get to know the universe, the expansion and traveling to other planets, even though we are still having a lot of problems to do here on Earth. So that was intriguing to me.”
The film tells the story of the Martins, a lower-middle-class Black family living on the margins of a major Brazilian city. A far-right extremist president has just been inaugurated, and the Martins feel the strain of their new reality as the political dust settles. Tércia (Rejane Faria), her mother, thinks she’s cursed after an unexpected encounter. Her husband puts all of his hopes for him into the soccer career of their son de él, Deivinho (Císero Lucas), who secretly aspires to study astrophysics and colonize Mars. Meanwhile, their older daughter falls in love with a young woman and ponders whether it’s time to leave home.
“I kept thinking about this dream that this kid has to be a part of this mission of discovering the unknown,” Martins said. “I saw it as a very radical possibility for a kid like him. So I think it also represents something that is intangible in a way — something that you cannot reach — or it’s not material in any way but it’s kind of a dream, a utopia or something like that.”
Along with Deivinho’s dreams, Martins said that the film is “about accidents and things that happen throughout our lives that shape us into that way that we are.”
“Mars One” premiered at Sundance and will arrive on Netflix in January.
Watch the full interview with Martins here.