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I'm looking for the name of a movie I watched around a decade ago. I believe it was in German and it must have been made after 2000.

In it, travellers board a spaceship they believe is headed to a colony or space station or something where they'll have a new shot at life; there are many similarities to the optimism of people heading to America from the bleakness of their current lives. People communicate back from this new place and describe how great it is and how their families should come too.

It turns out that there is no new place, and instead, when people go into hypersleep, they're plugged into a simulation in which they think they've made it to the new place. At some point near the end, there's a moral quandary as to whether or not to tell anyone about the simulation, but ultimately the simulation is shut down and the people are released back to their families.

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  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you watch this and when do you think it might've been made? Jul 13, 2023 at 19:48
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    I might have seen it a decade ago? It must have been made after 2000
    – Dan White
    Jul 13, 2023 at 19:51

1 Answer 1

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This is Cargo (2009).

Dr. Laura P. takes a job on a cargo spaceship for 4 years plus 4 years back. She'll join her sister on Rhea. 44 months later, in Laura's shift, strange things happen in cargo. The crew is reanimated and the captain dies mysteriously.

It's a German-language film.

By the year 2267, the Earth has become uninhabitable due to an ecological collapse. Most people have been evacuated to overcrowded space stations in Earth's orbit, where the living conditions are grim. On video screens, they're shown adverts inviting those who can afford it to come to the idyllic colony world of Rhea.

Image of a video advert showing a woman standing in a green field on the planet Rhea, from the film, "Cargo" (2009).

Cargo (2009)

The protagonist, Laura Portmann, is a doctor of medicine who wants to join her sister on Rhea. The two send each other video messages throughout the film. To earn enough money to get to Rhea, Laura has applied to serve as a medic on the Kassandra, an old cargo ship headed on an eight-year round-trip to an unmanned space station designated Station #42.

The crew of the Kassandra think they're transporting construction materials, but discover their cargo is actually hundreds of unconscious people in cryopods, and that Station #42 contains millions of such pods, the occupants of which are unknowingly plugged into a Matrix-like simulation of Rhea.

Apparently, there is a genuine planet called Rhea, but attempts to terraform it were unsuccessful, and rather than reveal the truth to the general public, the powers that be decided to recreate Rhea as a simulation in order to give people something to aspire to and live for, until a new colony world could be found.

There are additional twists and turns I see no need to spoil here, but suffice it to say, the truth comes out in the end.

You can view a trailer of the film on YouTube.

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