What if there was another earth with another you? What if you met this other you? Would you tell yourself what to do and what not to do? Would you save your other you? Would you ask yourself what you think of you? What would you tell yourself if you met yourself? “Better luck next time” says Brit Marling’s character in Mike Cahill’s Another Earth.
Seventeen-year old Rhoda has just received her acceptance letter from MIT. “I felt like anything was possible,” she says having just finished celebrating the occasion. She’s going out for a drive. On the radio, she learns that another earth has been spotted in the sky. She looks out. Her car swerves off course and collides with another car. She survives with minor bruises but the occupants of the other car are seriously injured, two of whom succumb to their injuries. Being a minor, she’s sent to prison for a short term of four years and her identity remains undisclosed.
Skip to four years later. Rhoda is now an emotionally remote island. Her family and she have grown apart. It’s understood that she hasn’t written to or met with them since. Probably to avoid confrontation, to avoid being faced with the knowledge of what she is missing, to avoid being reminded of her stagnant state. Making matters worse is the fact that they are all people who deal with a problem by not talking about it.