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When Sputnik II was sent into space with a dog, named Laika on board, it was a major leap for science.
Laika’s unfortunate death in space was lauded as a worthy sacrifice for the sake of the betterment of humankind’s forays into space.
But that’s the human point of view.
Imagine yourself as Laika – unable to understand where you’re going, what you’re doing and not even knowing if there is a way back or will you only be left circling the orbit; around the earth and the world you know but just not in it.
Imagine being isolated and alone and senselessly being controlled by forces that you don’t comprehend.
And even if you had the force of reason, are you ever anything more than collateral damage? Or an achievement someone can tick off his or her list? Is your only purpose to serve as an example and a sacrifice? The story of Siberia draws from and is dedicated to the story of Laika, sent into space in the Sputnik II.
The film follows its central character, Reena, trapped a seemingly familiar scenario of a woman who believes that as she sits in her house, alone, she is accompanied by the looming presence of a large rat.
This fear traps her in the confines of her own home and she goes through periods of panic, intense calm and rushes of adrenaline.
But Reena is no ordinary woman.
Dressed to the nines in a figure-complimenting black dress, a pair of Louboutin shoes and stark red lipstick, bent on all fours trying to hunt down a rat – she is quite the femme fatale.
The sheer irony of the situation makes way for an insane set of reactions as her paranoia over a rat she cannot see and cannot control, continues to torment her mind for days. Siberia is tryst between the conscious and subconscious - The constant want to create, to have created and then living the creation.
The antagonist is fear.
The protagonist is a woman. But isn't fear a liar? Siberia dwells within the realms of void, between nothingness and the lack of it, thereof.
With one protagonist, one location and minimal dialogues - questions are raised.
Is the answer a discovery or learning? Or both? The film, with a linear plot line - explores deeper, into the tiny recesses of the mind, our desires, our passions and our existence - as individuals, as a community and as a race.
What have we done? What are we doing? Is this all an illusion? Or does it all exist? Is it inside out or outside in? Or both? Or is the rat is really a metaphor for the decay in human life, which comes from ceaselessly chasing goals and ambitions only to come to no concrete end, but to continue on in a race that no one really seems to win?