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Parents' Guide to

Red Heaven

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Docu about Mars experiment shows toll of isolation.

Movie NR 2021 83 minutes
Red Heaven Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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This intimate documentary is compelling because of its scientific novelty and its "day in the life" capturing of 6 adults trying to keep their spirits up while living in isolation for an entire year. Even putting aside their mission, the science, NASA, and future explorations of Mars, Red Heaven would still show a year of 6 adults trying to live together in a tiny space without being able to leave their domicile except for the occasional 2–4-hour jaunt outside.

But this behind-the-scenes reveal is also quite mundane. Understandably, this film is a bit mundane, as it almost should be, because the nature of the mission so directly pits human survival against mendacity. But the viewing suffers a little because of this, as the participants slowly slip deeper and deeper into less social behavior and more independent, by-yourself-living. Indeed, outside of watching the crew do science, there isn't that much scientific content. Mainly, viewers will watch the slow decline in mood of the crew, but not much else happens. When they return home from their journey, some fanfare meets them, but there isn't much satisfaction, because the data generated from the experiment won't be published by NASA until "sometime in 2021" and isn't included in the film or in an epilogue.

Movie Details

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