Proxima (2019)

For her third feature Alice Winocour provides a neat counter-point to James Gray’s Ad Astra (about a father and son in space) with a female-centric tale of a woman astronaut preparing to launch forth while her daughter stays home.

The narrative manages to balance the personal with the wider world of space exploration while dealing with the issues of domesticity and family demands and the conflicts of pursuing a demanding work arc.

Richard Mowe, Eye for Film

In this rigorously researched spin on the space movie, Alice Winocour has achieved an astonishing feat for all womankind. It’s a fantastic voyage, shot on location at Star City near Moscow and the European Astronaut Centre at Cologne, which repurposes classic lost-in-space tropes and acts as love letter to working mums who are attempting to balance motherhood with career.

Gorgeous, elegantly framed images evoke the experience of being in the womb – one of Sarah embracing Stella in a swimming pool is particularly stirring. Working on multiple levels, Proxima reveals the strength it takes to become untethered from a child. The film closes by paying tribute to women astronauts; but its messages about motherhood and sexism are relevant to any industry.

Katherine McLaughlin, Sight & Sound

  • Language: English, French, German, Russian
  • Subtitles: partly English
  • Distribution: Angel Films
  • Cinematography: Georges Lechaptois
  • Editing: Julien Lacheray
  • Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Sound: Pierre André, Valérie Deloof
  • Production design: Florian Sanson