“What does it all mean?” The trailer for Sundance documentary The Visit

Humanity does not look amused; not a great sign when the first alien visitor arrives on Earth (image via Twitch)
Humanity does not look amused; not a great sign when the first alien visitor arrives on Earth (image via Twitch)


An alien encounter. A hypothetical visitor arrives from Outer Space. The authorities are immediately alerted – the military, defence and communication advisors, and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. How to deal with this unprecedented event? How to reassure Earth’s inhabitants, who are prone to panic, when you have no previous experience to draw upon?” The Visit is directed by Michael Madsen (not the actor), of the films Celestial Night: A Film on Visibility and Into Eternity: A Film for the Future. The Visit will premiere at Sundance 2015 in January in the World Cinema Documentary Competition category. (synopsis via First Showing)

Ah humanity!

For all our great achievements, advances social and technological and our willingness to help our fellow man in times of trouble, there are still a lot of things we don’t do very well.

Like how to handle an alien visit, or “invasion” as members of the more rabid tabloid elements in the media would be want to call it.

The odds are very good, skittish creatures that we are, that things would start out with the best of intentions but at the first sign of trouble would deteriorate rather quickly and messily and frankly if I was an alien come on a peaceful visit, I wouldn’t want to be standing in the way.

Still until it actually happens, who can say for sure how the people of the world would react, a great big unknown that provides plenty of room for Michael Madsen’s documentary The Visit to manoeuvre in.

Would be take it all on face value? Grill them? Welcome them? Put on a PR show? Lay all our angels and demons on the table? Or act like it’s the extraterrestrial version of a first date and only put our best foot forward?

Whatever we’d do, The Visit looks like it will examine every single angle in an intelligent, atmospheric and engaging way, with the trailer promising a documentary that is, at its core, an unflinching examination of the human condition.

It looks absolutely fascinating and I can only hope that it makes its way to Australia after it is done undoutbtedlty wowing everyone at Sundance in January 2015.


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