Maverick Life


‘Nowhere’ – one woman’s brutal dystopian journey is a meditation on survival

‘Nowhere’ – one woman’s brutal dystopian journey is a meditation on survival
Anna Castillo plays a convincing solo survivalist, and carries 'Nowhere' to the end. (Photo: Supplied)

Mia, the lead character in the new Spanish Netflix thriller ‘Nowhere’, takes the role of a superhero mother to another level as she fights to keep herself and her baby alive in a shipping container in the middle of the ocean.

Spain is headed to its dystopian future when the film Nowhere starts. A pregnant couple who recently lost their daughter to the volatile war in which women and children are being killed, carefully execute a plan to earn space in a maritime container in the hopes of fleeing the country for a better life.

The lack of background, the saturation of the characters and the war could potentially ruin the storytelling of desperate humans fighting for survival, but the dedication of the characters to hop on whatever moves in order to get out of danger supports the severity of the situation.

The movie starts picking up when the couple, Mia and Nico, get separated and end up in different maritime containers. Mia is surrounded by strangers who are killed right before shipment and she continues the journey to Ireland alone because of her fast thinking and her desperate will to live.

The plot thickens and the movie focuses on one character and one setting, which could easily be off-putting, but the film flows because of the impeccable storytelling and astonishing acting, forcing viewers to experience every emotion as though they themselves were stuck in a maritime container.


Anna Castillo in ‘Nowhere’. (Photo: Supplied)

Gripping portrayal

Anna Castillo plays a convincing solo survivalist. She carries Nowhere to the end, experiencing realistic failures and celebratory moments that see her gasping in relief and then having to tackle the next obstacle, hoping finally to reach her destination.

Mia’s bravery and determination to stay alive are tested and explored when the maritime container she is in gets lost in the middle of the ocean during a shipwreck on a stormy night.

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The scenes of her trying to make room for her next breath make one feel nauseous and frustrated, as she goes around in circles like a dog chasing its tail. The storyline, direction and acting keep the movie interesting and worth the watch.

Nowhere could have been just another survival story, but the filmmakers intensified it by adding to Mia’s frustrations and having her give birth in this dire situation.

The excruciating recurring sounds of a baby crying cause a nervous breakdown that gives the viewers a sneak peek into Mia’s reality as she tries to heal from childbirth, find help and provide for the two souls on board.

Having been hyper-dependent on her partner, Mia is now all alone in the middle of the ocean with a newborn, no food, no communication and few survival skills.

Although for most of the film the setting is the same and is carried by one character saying a couple of lines, the storyline, direction and acting keep the movie interesting and worth the watch. DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

Front page. P1. 20 October 2023

DM168 21 October 2023


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