Unveiling a Parallel (2016) by Dorota Walentynowicz
based on a novel by Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant
video, 24 min
Narratives about Mars reveal how the development of imagination is conditioned by the development of technology. These narratives - scientific, literary, sociological - come to us in various ways: let us treat them and their formats as a testimony of a certain way of thinking,
a testimony of a given time. "UNVEILING A PARALLEL" registers these temporal shifts in imagery. It visualizes what people once and now imagined as the future - shifts not only in time, but also in space. Once Mars was that other place, which hosted projections of the future - now we know that there is no other place.
The film uses two two different narrative formats: The first part is a fictional narrative based on a Victorian feminist utopian novel “Unveiling a Parallel” (1893), presenting the planet Mars as an idealized parallel world of better governance, equality between men and women, respect for nature and exemplary system of values. The second part is a video clip for a song titled “Environmental Catastrophe” - it is a factual narrative about the effects of destructive human activity on the planet Earth. Mars here is presented as a potential (but unrealistic) escape route for fugitives from the devastated Earth.