Cargo (2009) Poster

Cargo (2009)

  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 5,014 votes 
  • Genre: Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Runtime: 112 min
  • Filming Location: Winterthur, Kanton Zürich, Switzerland
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Cargo (2009)


Cargo 2009tt0381940.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Cargo (2009)
  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 5,014 votes 
  • Genre: Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Runtime: 112 min
  • Filming Location: Winterthur, Kanton Zürich, Switzerland
  • Budget: CHF 4,500,000(estimated)
  • Stars: Anna Katharina Schwabroh, Martin Rapold and Regula Grauwiller
  • Original Music By: Fredrik Strömberg   
  • Soundtrack: You Better Hide
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital EX
  • Plot Keyword: Self Awareness | Environment | False Memory | Retro Future | Simulated Reality

Writing Credits By:

  • Arnold Bucher (story) (as Arnold H. Bucher) and
  • Ivan Engler (story)
  • Arnold Bucher (screenplay) (as Arnold H. Bucher) and
  • Ivan Engler (screenplay) and
  • Patrik Steinmann (screenplay) and
  • Thilo Röscheisen (screenplay)
  • Johnny Hartmann  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • At the beginning of the film, you can hear somebody playing a video game. However, the sound is actually taken from two different games, Super Mario Land and Tetris, both for the original Nintendo Game Boy.
  • As Dr. Portmann leaves the examination room after tending to Decker’s head wound, a THC molecule is clearly seen on a computer screen in the background.

Plot: Full synopsis »

Story: Year 2267. The ecosystem of Earth has been destroyed and mankind is forced to live in orbit. The story of CARGO takes place on the derelict spaceship KASSANDRA on its 8 year journey to a remote freight-station in deep space… See full synopsis »


Synopsis: Year 2267. The ecosystem of Earth has been destroyed and mankind is forced to live in orbit. The story of CARGO takes place on the derelict spaceship KASSANDRA on its 8 year journey to a remote freight-station in deep space. The young and inexperienced medical officer LAURA PORTMANN (Anna Katharina Schwabroh) is the only person awake on board. The rest of the crew lies frozen in cryosleep. During her daily patrols, through the eerily empty ship, she begins to get the feeling that she may not be alone on board. She wakes up part of the crew. A dangerous reconnaissance mission into the vast and ice-cold cargo hold ends in a catastrophe, where the captain of the ship dies. The remainder of the crew is awakened. During a second discovery mission into the cargo hold, the crew finds out that the ship carries something completely different than officially declared. Laura uncovers a large-scale conspiracy, where the government is withholding groundbreaking information about the current state of evolution back home on Earth. After a dramatic showdown, Laura is able to shut down the source of misinformation and bring back proof to uncover the conspiracy. However, this inconvenient truth may start a revolution.


Beautiful images of endless wheat fields and bright blue skies. A tall and good looking woman dressed in white gently touches the ears of the wheat. Suddenly, a superimposed text destroys the dreamlike imagery: "Come to RHEA". The entire image becomes distorted, and literally drifts away: the images were a commercial for the planet RHEA on a free-floating TV billboard in space.

Behind the billboard, a derelict, uninhabitable planet Earth appears, several giant space stations rotating in its orbit. The sun rises on the horizon. Superimpose: Year 2267.

A dyzzing flight into one of the space-stations. Everything rotates. We finally land in a departure gate, where the young medic LAURA PORTMANN (Anna-Katharina Schwabroh) is waiting for her flight to leave. She has decided to work as medical officer on a cargoship named KASSANDRA. The Kassandra will spend 8 years in deep space transporting building materials to a remote space-station. Most of the time, Laura will be in cryosleep. Although she doesn’t like this assignment, she knows that it will give her enough money to pay for her long awaited journey to the planet RHEA. There, she will finally be able to meet her beloved sister ARIANE PORTMANN (Maria Boettner) again. RHEA is the new Earth: Intact nature, back to the roots, but only the rich can afford to live there. Most of the people live cramped in the space-station orbiting Earth.

Laura’s flight is called. She sends a last videomessage to her sister Ariane before leaving: Just 8 more years, and then she’ll have the money to come to her.

Laura enters the Kassandra. The ship looks old, derelict and spooky. The crew consists of the captain, PIERRE LACROIX (Pierre Semmler), the first officer ANNA LINDBERGH (Regula Grauwiller), the security agent SAMUEL DECKER (Martin Rapold), the technician MIYUKI YOSHIDA (Yangzom Brauen) and the two flight engineers CLAUDIO VESPUCCI (Michael Finger) and IGOR PROKOFF (Claude Oliver Rudolph).

Decker shows the crew an informational video about the "Luddites". The Luddites are terrorists who fight against and destroy technology. They already attacked several space stations in the past and have now threatened to sabotage cargo flights as well. The crew is asked to report any suspicious incidents immediately to Decker.

Shortly after takeoff, the crew enters the cryosleep tanks. Only Lacroix stays awake and takes over the first wake shift. His shift will last for six months. After that, shifts will rotate. Only one person will be awake at one time.

4 years later. The KASSANDRA is on its way into deep space. Its destination: The remote space-station "42", a freight distribution station. The only passenger awake on board is Laura. The rest of the crew: frozen in cryosleep. Laura makes a note in her diary: Another four months until her wakeshift will finally be over.

Laura patrols the ship and tediously fills out the report forms. From time to time she sends videomessages to her sister Ariane. Because the messages take several months to arrive, the replies from her sister are outdated and from last year. No communication really takes place.

During her repeated inspection tours, she more and more suspects that someone else, or something else is on board. She knows that this kind of paranoia may emerge during long wakeshifts. So she considers everything she sees and hears a result of her being alone for such a long time. Until one day, she hears such a loud and disturbing bang from the cargobay, that she suddenly realizes: This can’t be an illusion!

When she checks the lower decks, she finds scratches on the cargo hatch and hears more of the loud banging. In panic she wakes up the captain Lacroix and the security agent Decker. They decide to have a closer look and check out the cargo area. But the reconnaissance mission into the dark and icy cargobay becomes a fiasco: Lacroix is killed in a strange incident, while Laura and Decker are almost trapped inside the cargo hold.

The two survivors wake the rest of the crew. Laura is convinced that something dangerous is on board. But the first officer Lindbergh, who is now in command, is sure that Lacroix’s death was nothing more but an accident. Lindbergh suggests that Laura suffers from isolation paranoia and should get some rest. Decker remains silent.

As responsible medical officer on board, Laura performs an autopsy on the dead captain. In his skull, she surprisingly finds an artificial eye, which contains a video recording. When she plays it back, she sees containers in the cargobay that are marked with a "Danger – Biohazard!" sign.

Laura and Decker undertake a second expedition into the cargo hold. They open one of the contaiers. Inside, they discover that they are full of coffin like cooling tanks. And in each tank lies a body. They open more containers. All of them contain the tanks!

With the help of the two flight engineers Vespucci and Prokoff, Laura and Decker try to bring one of the tanks on board of the main ship. But without any warning, the containers in the cargo area suddenly start to shift. Laura gets almost squeezed and thrown into the deadly abyss. With her last strength, she manages to hold on to one of the containers. Until Decker comes to her rescue.

Back on the main ship, they meet a very angry Lindbergh: It’s officially strictly forbidden to enter the cargo area. Although Laura suspects an assasination attempt, Lindbergh is sure it was just an automatic shifting of the containers. She still suggests that Laura must rest and recover from her isolation paranoia. But this time, Decker is on her side. He demands an investigation.

So against Lindbergh’s will, Laura and Decker bring the recovered tank to the infirmary, where they manage to open it. Inside, they find a GIRL (Noa Strupler). The girl lies is in a deep coma. Weirdly, her brain is perfoliated with artificial neural tissue, which has grown in from outside of the skull. Laura has never seen such a phenomenon before. She doesn’t dare to wake the girl from the coma, as long as she hasn’t found out more about the neural tissue. She starts to research. She finally finds a medication that will make the artificial nerve tissue in the brain of the girl regress.

In the meantime, Lindbergh and her assistant Yoshida discover that Decker must have secretly left his cryosleep tank several times during the wake shifts of the other crewmembers. Lindbergh confronts Decker with her findings. She blames him to be responsable for Lacroix’s death and also for the assasination attempt on Laura. Decker doesn’t have enough good arguments to disprove these accusations. Vespucci and Prokoff arrest him. Laura is extremely disappointed. Now she has lost her only ally. When they prepare Decker for his cryosleep, he tells Laura secretly that the Kassandra is not flying to Station 42. He believes that the ship is flying to RHEA! Laura doesn’t believe him. She thinks it may be a last attempt to change her mind about him. Decker is put into cryosleep.

While she is giving the girl the medication to make the artificial tissue in the brain go back, she receives a videomessage from her sister Ariane. The message is a direct answer to her last question. Which is strange, because usually, these messages take several months to go back and forth.

Laura gets suspicious. She asks the technician Yoshida to secretly examine the target coordinates of the Kassandra. And indeed, Yoshida finds out that they had been manipulated: Their effective target is RHEA!

Yoshida tries to find out, who has maniuplated the coordinates. But shortly before she uncovers the results, Laura finds her brutally murdered in the lower decks. And more bad news: Decker has left his cryotank! Someone must have set him free! But who is this "someone"?

The crew starts to search the ship. Under a ventillation shaft Laura finds a secret storage room, filled with artifacts of the Luddites: Bombs, weapons, military equimpent, leftovers of food – and a touchpanel, where a videomessage is just being edited. The videomessage shows images from Earth: plants of all kinds are growing – it’s all green and alive! The head-terrorist of the Luddites, GEORG BRUCKNER (Gilles Tschudi) appears on screen. He talks about the big governmental lie: Earth would be habitable again. In fact, since a long time! But with the expensive flights to Rhea, everybody makes so much money, that these facts are kept secret from the public. Then, just before the videomessage ends, Decker appears on screen, next to Bruckner. He is wearing the uniform of the Luddites! He produly holds a big "Luddites Unite!" banner into the camera!

This is when Laura is suddenly attacked from behind – by Bruckner himself! He wants to kill her. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a shot rings, and Bruckner is killed in front of Laura’s eyes. She looks around – but there is no one to be seen.

Back on the main decks. Decker has been captured by Prokoff and Vespucci. They torture him to get information about the Luddites. Decker tells them that the planet Rhea doesn’t exist. That it’s only a simulation. That the artificial neural tissue in the girl’s head is proof of his theory. All these people in their coffins in the cargo bay will be connected to a simulator once they arrive on RHEA. Laura at first cannot believe what she hears: How can she still get videomessages from her sister? But when she finally realizes that Decker must be right, it’s already too late: She stares into a huge gun, which is pointed at her forehead – by Lindbergh.

According to Lindbergh, this was all necessary to avoid a revolution. The first colonization mission on Rhea many years ago was a complete failure. Rhea was not habitable at all. But instead of returning to Earth and telling the truth, the colonizing corporation started to build a giant simulator in Rhea’s orbit: Station 42. Everyone who travels to "Rhea" never leaves the cryosleep coffin. Instead, he is directly plugged into the simulator once he arrives on Station 42. There, he "lives" a virtual life attached to the simulator. To avoid suspicion, the people inside the simulation can receive and send message from and to Earth. But they can never leave Rhea again.

Lindbergh explains that the secret about "Rhea" is crucial to maintain the peace back home in the extremely cramped spacestations. She asks Laura to understand her point. However, Laura doesn’t concede with Lindbergh, even when Lindbergh finally threatens to kill her. Her finger already on the trigger, she is unexpectedly overwhelmed and arrested by Prokoff and Vespucci. They put her in cryosleep and release Decker.

Laura and Decker start to build a plan to rescue Laura’s sister Ariane from the simulation. But Vespucci and Prokoff have a secret plan of their own: they want to enter the simulation and stay there. They hate their life on the cargoships so much that being inside of a simulation still seems like the better alternative. Their secret plan is to throw two people out of their coffins, and step into the tanks themselves. However, to open the cargo hold, they need Lindbergh’s access badge. Vespucci rips the badge off from the cryogenised Lindbergh. He inadvertently contaminates her cryoliquid, which triggers a timer for her wake-up.

In the meantime, Laura and Decker have finished their plan: They will secretly leave the ship, once the Kassandra has arrived on Station 42. Decker will hack into the simulation, and send a message from inside of the simulation back home to the people on Earth. This will prove that RHEA doesn’t exist. Once the message is sent, he will destroy the antenna system – his message will be the last message ever sent from "RHEA". Laura shall find the tank of her sister, and bring it back to the Kassandra.

The ship arrives at the fully robotized Station 42. Laura and Decker are ready to leave the ship in spacesuits. But at this moment, the little girl from the open tank appears in the manhatch – barely naked! The drugs that Laura gave her did obviously work. Although only little time remains before the KASSANDRA will discharge automatically again, Laura chooses to bring the girl in her bunk and wrap her into her some clothes.

Meanwhile, Decker exits into space, and attaches the explosives to the antenna system of Station 42. He then tries to locate Ariane’s tank. When he finally finds it, he discovers that her body is already decomposing – she is beyond saving.

Back on the Kassandra. Vespucci and Prokoff are in the cargo hold. They enter one of the containers. Their plan seems to work so far.

In the cryochamber of the main ship, Lindbergh is about to wake up from cryosleep.

Laura has hastily wrapped the girl into some warm clothes. She leaves the Kassandra in her spacesuit and tries to navigate towards the main hardware module of the Station 42. But during her flight, she realizes that her jetpack doesn’t work properly. The propulsion systems are dead. Without any possibility to steer, she floats through the gigantic station towards the open space. In the last moment she is rescued by Decker, who then brings her safely to the hardware module.

At the module, Decker tells her that Ariane is beyond saving. The only thing he can offer is to let her into the simulation, so she can meet her sister for one last time. Although very sad about all this, Laura agrees to the new plan.

Decker attaches a neurowave generator to Lauras helmet. He then connects it with the simulator. Laura starts to halucinate immediately – and suddenly she finds herself in the simulation. She is amazed by the beauty of it. It’s completely "real". It’s perfect! But she has to move on and find her sister.

She arrives at a countryhouse. There she meets Ariane. After a long hug, she tries to tell her sister the truth about everything. But when she sees the idyllic world, she isn’t able to destroy her beloved sister’s illusion. In tears, she runs away. Then, she sends the final message.

While Laura is in the simulation, Decker exchanges her fueltank with the one from his own jetpack.

When Laura awakes from the simulation, the ship is already about to start. The engines are firing. Huge shockwaves emerge from the ship and travel towards Laura and Decker. The shockwaves push them away from the module. They tumble, and float towards open space. To her own surprise, Laura is able to start and steer her jetpack again. But Decker remains back in space without fuel, which will mean his certain death. He has sacrificed himself for Laura and for the little girl.

In tears, Laura reaches the departing Kassandra in the last second. Immediately after she enters the manhatch, the explosives detonate and rip all the antennas of Station 42 to pieces. Laura’s message to Earth will be the last one ever sent from RHEA.

Laura wants to find the little girl. But she isn’t in her room anymore! While Laura is running frantically through the corridors of the ship to find the girl, she is suddenly attacked by Lindbergh. After a fierce battle, Laura wins, and Lindbergh is suffocated in the man hatch and subsequentially sucked out into space.

Scared about the whereabouts of the girl Laura aimlessly roams through the now completely empty ship. Finally, she finds the girl safe and sound in the crew cabin. Together with the rescued girl she is now on her way back home to Earth.

The last scene shows how Lauras message arrives on all the screens of the space stations orbiting Earth. People get up and listen to the message attentively. Lauras last sentence: "We will now destroy the antennas."

Cut to black and credits.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Meret Burger known as associate producer
  • Andreas Caplazi known as co-producer
  • Karin G. Dietrich known as executive producer (as Karin Dietrich)
  • Ralph Dietrich known as executive producer
  • Michael Egli known as executive producer
  • Ivan Engler known as co-producer
  • Madeleine Hirsiger known as co-producer
  • Roger Kaufmann known as associate producer
  • Mohan Mani known as associate producer
  • Philippe van Doornick known as executive producer
  • Daniel Wolfisberg known as executive producer
  • Marcel Wolfisberg known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Anna Katharina Schwabroh known as Laura Portmann
  • Martin Rapold known as Samuel Decker
  • Regula Grauwiller known as Anna Lindbergh
  • Yangzom Brauen known as Miyuki Yoshida
  • Pierre Semmler known as Pierre Lacroix
  • Claude-Oliver Rudolph known as Igor Prokoff
  • Michael Finger known as Claudio Vespucci
  • Gilles Tschudi known as Klaus Bruckner
  • Maria Boettner known as Arianne Portmann
  • Noa Strupler known as Mädchen
  • Diego Studer known as Kind auf Rhea
  • Vanessa Studer known as Kind auf Rhea
  • Christina Tchernychova known as Rhea TV Spot Modell
  • Roger Kaufmann known as Sicherheitspersonal Station 30
  • Roman Güttinger known as Sicherheitspersonal Station 30



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Tanja Koller known as key makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Micha Seger known as graphic designer




Production Companies:

  • Atlantis Pictures
  • Centauri Media (co-production)
  • Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft (SRG) (co-production)
  • Teleclub AG (co-production)
  • Egli Film (in association with)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (in association with)
  • Telepool (in association with)

Other Companies:

  • Bundesamt für Kultur (EDI)  funding
  • Eastside Communications  publicity: Germany
  • Gallagher Entertainment  insurance
  • Konken Studios  post-production facilities
  • Kulturförderung Kanton St. Gallen  funding
  • Swisslos  funding
  • Zuercher Filmstiftung  funding


  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Atlantis Pictures (2009) (worldwide) (all media)
  • CCV (2010) (Denmark) (all media)
  • CCV (2010) (Finland) (all media)
  • CCV (2010) (Iceland) (all media)
  • CCV (2010) (Norway) (all media)
  • Mongrel Media (2010) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Mongrel Media (2010) (Canada) (all media)
  • Optimum Releasing (2010) (UK) (DVD)
  • Optimum Releasing (2010) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Seven Sept (2010) (France) (all media)
  • Telepool (2009) (worldwide) (all media)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Silvio Alberti known as junior compositor
  • Karim Arsad known as visual effects artist
  • Fred Bastide known as lead CG artist
  • Antoine Baumann known as digital compositor
  • Patrick Baumann known as visual effects artist: cloudscape
  • Urs Franzen known as lead compositing artist
  • Urs Franzen known as visual effects compositing artist
  • Miklos Kozary known as lead compositor
  • Mikelima known as shader artist
  • Daniel Mueri known as visual effects artist: cloudscape
  • Kelly Lee Myers known as visual effects consultant
  • Robbie Müller known as visual effects artist
  • Stephan Schweizer known as senior compositor
  • Michael Scialpi known as visual effects supervisor
  • Noemi Sugaya known as junior compositor
  • Thorsten Thiem known as digital compositor
  • Patrick Tilp known as lead visual effects artist: cloudscape
  • Oliver Vogel known as visual effects artist
  • Valentin Weilenmann known as digital compositing artist

Release Date:

  • Switzerland 24 September 2009 (German speaking region)
  • USA November 2009 (American Film Market)
  • France 28 January 2010 (Gérardmer Fantasticarts Film Festival)
  • Germany 8 March 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Belgium 11 April 2010 (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • USA 23 April 2010 (San Francisco International Film Festival)
  • UK 3 May 2010 (Sci-Fi-London Film Festival)
  • USA 8 June 2010 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Canada 15 August 2010 (Toronto After Dark Film Festival)
  • France 11 September 2010 (L'Étrange Festival)
  • France 23 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Canada 30 November 2010 (DVD premiere)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. dkatsafouros from Athens Greece
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    First of all I'm a bit curious about the low rating of the movie here(6,4). This is a great movie raising all sorts of questions to theviewer. Which is what a good movie is supposed to do. Identity, senseof belonging, isolation, and the essence of the human nature are justsome of the things the movie touches on. Yeah there are plot pointsthat have been explored before in other movies but seriously who cares?It's how you portray those situations and plot. So I wasn'tdisappointed there. In fact I wasn't disappointed at all!! A brilliantfilm that will speak to the audience that loved, "moon".

    Congrats to all the people involved in this movie. Hope someday it'llbe released on Bluray.

  2. katepsimmons from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    As breathtaking as it is substantial, Swiss film Cargo is what goodscience fiction should be: compelling, artistic and effective. One ofthe film's many strengths is its hypnotic quality. From the openingscenes of an alluring foliage-laden planet that characters hope tosettle in lieu of an uninhabitable Earth, viewers are pulled into aworld of meticulously-crafted sights and sounds.

    The story of Dr. Laura Portmann (Anna-Katharina Schwabroh) soonunfolds, and her journey as a medic on cargo ship Kassandra quicklyturns mysterious when it becomes clear she's not the only one awakeduring her lonely shift. The plot increases in complexity as detailsare revealed, but its not what happens that gives the film its power.It's the way the discoveries are revealed.

    Characters travel crowded corridors that reference and live up toscience fiction's finest (hello, Ridley Scott)! Dripping water,fan-scattered light and layered audio work alternate between backdropand foreground, heightening suspense and making the film's world allthe more tangible. Directors Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter also bringsignature elements to the table, such as the prevalent cold temperatureon the ship and the eerie gel that surrounds characters as they entercryo sleep.

    Also noteworthy is the way Cargo manages to be simultaneously epic andpersonal. There is action and there is scope, but there is alsopoignancy. Science fiction fans will recognize that this is rare, whichis likely a part of why many viewers have embraced this film with suchexcitement.

    It's not often that a science fiction film of this caliber finds itsway to viewers, and, as one lucky audience at this year's South bySouthwest Film Festival discovered, seeing this gem on the big screenis magic. Hopefully Cargo will get the American theatrical release itdeserves.

    Note: I reviewed this film for

  3. l-epting from Switzerland
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    When I watched the science fiction movie „CARGO" I was astonished.Cargo is a low budget movie with a superb look and an amazing story.The film was entirely shot in Switzerland – a country not at all knownfor producing science fiction movies.

    The story is solid and involving. It develops steadily, gets more andmore momentum and works its way to a climax with some very nice twistsand breathtaking space scenes.

    I was fascinated during the entire movie how these guys were able toproduce such a good looking film with so many special effects for sucha small budget. The sounddesign as well is an outstanding piece of art.I recommend to watch "CARGO" in a theatre equipped with a very goodsound system.

    "CARGO" is a must-see, it guarantees a lot of excitement.

  4. samkay1 from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    Cargo is dazzling, mystifying, sometimes scary, and is able tomanipulate a rather familiar plot to seem less familiar. That last onehowever, is just as much a weakness as it is a strength. The film'sproblems are not on the screen, but on the pages.

    Cargo contains a weighty story line, with questionable focus and a lackof coherency. There are also places where the movie feels draggy andrepetitive. Characterization gets off the ground but not quite to thedegree of emotion that was probably intended.

    Anyone who sees Cargo is gonna wish they had seen it in theatres. Itsgreatest achievement is photography. I liked Cargo for it's Mystiqueand stylistic choices which I don't come across, but the writing andconstruction need a tune up. It's appearance is perfect but its soul isa bit murky, and its story is disoriented which does quite allow us toappreciate Cargo to the full

  5. Laszlo Arato from Switzerland
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    Without spoiling anything, I want to recommend this movie as a realthriller where nothing is as it seems, but everything makes sense inthe end. And it is a fresh look on a VERY IMPORTANT issue, giving awonderful but sad perspective on it.

    If you like "big thinking" in SciFi, this movie will give you thevisuals on how huge things can get in zero gravity, with a beautifulspace city in the beginning and a cargo ship the size of the empirestate building.

    While it is a little bit lengthy, I think this is a necessary part totruly give you the cold and lonely feeling of space, and so to make youappreciate the ending and conclusion.

    Just keep sitting, and you will understand …


  6. Axel Gieck from Gießen Germany
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    OK, Fist of all: I was severely impressed by the fact that I could notfind an (what I thought to be) English original Soundtrack.. I wasmisled by the looks of this movie as to be a lower budget Hollywoodoffspring.. whoa, OK, so the Original Soundtrack is German..interesting! Actually (as I learned now) it's swizz made.. WellSwizerland is famous for cheese, and the main feature of most cheeseis.. holes in it! To bad the went with that..

    First, I must say the props and the looks are very very good, and Imust also say more CGI would not have been necessary for me… but evenin the first 20 minutes I start noticing Logic holes that are just notright.. Like: The Space station consists of rotating rings (therotation creates artificial gravity), but when our main characterenters the axis of such a Ring, she does not become weightless oranything.. she just walks through there, OK, Door passed, thank you..Although the Bulk door (and the camera zooms in on that to show thisnice detail) has a sign saying "beware of change of gravity (or such..)But. Aaaahhh!! Logic! If I make the effort of creating such a nicesetup and details as the Rotating station (which use was explained backin Stanley Cubricks 2001 Space Oddyssey), why don't I stay with it? ORput in a feature that explains why she's not floating around..

    .. and irrational acting of the characters.. Like in the scene whereshe discovers the "Maschinenstürmer" Activist who is a stowaway onboard.. They Struggle, and someone shoots him, and the FIRST thing shedoes is like taking a good look around.. going through the stuff shefinds.. not asking herself who just saved her life maybe? (the questionkind of comes up about 2 Minutes later.. but is never really given muchweight) Then, The oppressive regime that is obviously creating thiswhole lie about Reha is not monitoring the data streams? hello??Opressice Regime 101 is what? Like she can upload her (what must looklike from the perspective of the Regime) terrorist message right to theNewsfeed of the Spacestation back close to earth to kick off a riot ?Like she can share(via what i take as an equivalent of a cellphone)very very confidential about what they just found in the Cargo section(that they are not at all allowed to pen, but hey..) information withher Sister, and no one notices this? The Ship has NO movement sensorwhatsoever to actually monitor the crew on the ship while only oneperson is supposed to be on watch? And, yea, they travel 4 Years to anass end of Space, blow up some communication device.. and no one canactually go there and Fix it, just to declare this another failedattempt of the (from the oppressive regime POV) Terrorists..? There ismore of these Logic errors in there, Like Message traveling Time: Itwas used at some point in the plot, and then totally ignored atanother. She notices the response time of her sister is increasing andtherefore that they are closing in on reha. She even discusses thiswith the tech engineer who says "it usually takes months", but laterher Message from Reha back to earth about the truth of Reha is receivedthere almost instantly..

    … and so on… I must say this really ruined the movie for me. Itcould have been Great, the looks and the feel is super, the Story setupis good, Nice twist in the story, the revealing of the true evil iskind of foreseeable but still good, the acting is kind of stiffsometimes, but OK… but the logic.. I can't go with that. And thediscrepancy between the bad Script writing's missing logic and the restof the movie is so huge! Like usually crappy scripts also have a crappylooking movie and bad actors.. here. One aspect messes it up for therest.

    So sad Axel

  7. Amadio from Japan
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    Take one part Matrix, one part Event Horizon, add half a measure ofAlien, a dash of Solaris and gently stir. Cargo delivers what manysci-fi films fail to deliver these days, and that is real style as wellas substance. It's easy to set a 'shoot-em-up' in space or a detectivestory, but Cargo has so much more. It's moody without being cloying,it's scary without cheap horror tactics, it's thought provoking, itdelivers twists and turns, and it is not predictable. It is hard toclassify Cargo as it has many elements, and this is what makes it soengrossing. The acting is believable i.e. being in space for a longtime leads to quirky behaviour, people will do anything for a betterlife, and who can you trust? This is absolutely not a Hollyvoid filmwith predictable characters and lame values. Instead, Cargo delivers athoughtful and absorbing film that ranks alongside classics such asSolaris (not the Clooney version).

  8. shootingangles from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    I'm so glad that I overlooked some of the poor responses posted aboutthis film and rented it.

    I found it absolutely riveting – and beautiful.

    The first few minutes recall aspects of the BladeRunner moderncityscape – but on steroids, with the aid of modern day visual effects.The plot is interesting and unfolds nicely keeping your interest andattention. No big stars, no truly stellar performances, but the storyline is solid and I was so taken in by it, that I'm going to watch itagain tonight, with someone else who's not yet seen it. Somemesmerizing visuals and scenarios. The lighting is particularly strong,creating great ambiance and dramatic effect, without drawing too muchattention to itself. This movie is about human frailty, variousemotions and connections, about the work we do in order to follow ourdreams. It also relates feelings of being small, powerless, andbecoming disconnected because of technology – assessing trust in othersand in the systems which dominate our lives, searching for 'truth' andauthentic experiences…

    A very unconventional melding of ideas which for me, worked on manydifferent layers.

    Highly worth a trip for any Sci-Fi lover.

  9. thisissubtitledmovies from
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    Switzerland's first attempt at sci-fi, and Ivan Engler's first featurefilm, Cargo harks back to numerous icons of science fiction cinema –everything from The Thing to The Matrix, and, most notably, RidleyScott's Alien. It belongs to that particular breed of dystopian sciencefiction – where the world is ruined and the human race is living onborrowed time.

    Cargo is a competent sci-fi, but it's nothing special. The first halfis effectively tense and engaging, but it loses its way towards theend. Visually stunning considering the budget, but unfortunately, it'snowhere near original or creative enough to be considered aparticularly revolutionary sci-fi film. SSP

  10. mikmikmik from Switzerland
    30 Mar 2012, 12:18 pm

    First off, although I am in possession of a Swiss passport, I am in noway inclined to believe that the Swiss have a genetic advantage when itcomes to filmaking, contrary to what many of my fellow citizens seem tothink.

    Cargo is by no means a terrible piece of work, but suffers fromproblems that should have been apparent when viewing the finishedmovie. As any other director, Mr. Engler appears to have invested areasonable amount of time crafting a believable beginning, a first fewscenes creating a backdrop for the viewer in case things would startfalling apart. A gigantic space station rendered with respectabledetail (especially considering the budget of 5 million Swiss francs) isshoved in the viewers face within a minute of the film's beginning,which is fine, because it consists of spinning parts, shiny things, anda ridiculous number of lights. This is where most humans now resideafter we've managed to turn the Earth into something about as habitableas nuclear testing grounds.

    All humans aboard this station have one goal in common, to scrapetogether enough money to travel to the distant planet of Rhea, a placethat closely resembles certain pretty parts of Switzerland in Autumn(coincidence?). The movie now begins to tell the tale of a small shipon it's way to Rhea. Ultimately, in a series of undramatic events, wefind out that Rhea is actually a simulation and that the destination ofthe ship is a docking station outside the planet that contains millionsof humans in a cryogenic state AND that the ship does not containbuilding materials but instead people in boxes with pipes attached tothem. Whoever does not the see the parallel to the Matrix is kiddingthemselves because this is more than an inspiration, this is almost ablatant remake.

    The issue not only lies in the premise of the movie, which is so overlyclichéd and, as mentioned, copied, that it brought a tear to my eye,but also in the execution. It is obvious that the crew is in a smallship solely because of a low budget. The same goes for the number ofactors that can be counted using both hands and one foot. The last halfhour of the movie is basically terrible, which is to a large part dueto the hilarious space suits worn by the actors (good luck finding arole as an astronaut in the future, think 50's space suit with fur onit), but also due to the terrible camera angles showing the actors intheir terrible space suits. There is an off-camera sex scene that is asout of place as a racist joke at a funeral and I found it odd that thevoice acting of half of the crew members sounded as though it had beendubbed from German to German by another man with more charisma. Then wehave the logical holes the size of meteor craters that can only beexplained by teleportation or magic. A man gets shot by another manalthough the man with the gun was captured behind a closed metal doorbefore he shot the other man. Or what about the woman in the furryastronaut suit managing to perfectly hit the suddenly extremely slowmoving space ship with her jetpack as its flying past her. By the way,this same space ship has a insanely cool ability to become either tentimes larger or ten times smaller, depending if you're inside the shipor looking at it from the outside. Kind of like those crazy tents theyhave in Harry Potter. Would have been even more cool if it had beenintentional.

    The biggest problem is that the story never seems to get going and Ididn't find it very exhilarating to watch the same woman walk throughthe same dark corridors more times that I blink my eyes each day. Itall just seems a bit pointless and the supposedly epic ending justfalls short of being gripping in any way. Whilst I do take my hat offfor effort, this movie took 9 years to make, I'm going to go ahead andmake the bold statement that we Swiss should stick to making cheese andchocolate and Hollywood can take care of film-making.

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