Moving to Mars

Movies, Documentary
4 out of 5 stars
Moving to Mars
With Mat Whitecross’s feature debut, ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ in cinemas, the ICA has scheduled a week of screenings for his rigorous, sympathetic documentary on the experience of Burmese refugees in the UK. Made for Channel 4’s ‘True Stories’ strand, the film follows two families from the persecuted Karen tribe as they leave a Thai refugee camp for a new life in windswept Sheffield.

Whitecross’s greatest strength is a steadfast refusal to make any ethical assumptions, or to use his story as an excuse for political  grandstanding. For some of his subjects, this new life is a blessing, for others a curse, but it’s as much a matter of personality and adaptability as a failure of social services or a clash of cultures. ‘Moving to Mars’ succeeds because of its unsentimental humanity: the film steps back and allows us to make up our own minds about these troubled, likeable, struggling characters.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Mat Whitecross