Just watched the movie « Clara » on the Air Canada, Montreal to Frankfurt flight, last night. This is a Canadian made film on the search for extra terrestrial life. I enjoyed it. It’s much better, in my humble opinion, than the 1997 film « Contact » based on the Carl Sagan novel and starring Jodie Foster.
No fancy special effects in Clara, unlike the ridiculous time travelling machine in Contact. But, an interesting use of current scientific tools like measuring light variations of a star to identify potential planets in transit around it. The movie also shows a hint of what scientists must go through to get telescope time, access to raw data and the competition between them to be first to discovery. I won’t divulge the end but the discovery the fictional astrophycisist eventually makes, I thought, was a clever use of those tools, even though I’m not convinced it would actually work.
The human drama story behind the two main characters unfolds intelligently and is necessary to justify the reasons for the research aspects of the story and the decisions that guide Dr. Isaac Bruno, the tourmented, fictional research astrophycisist. Clara’s artistic and very sensitive character contrasts with Bruno’s, but the link between art, science and even faith, which she eventually shows him, will play a role in his work, just like, as Clara reminds him in one memorable scene, Isaac Newton may have been profoundly religious but it didn’t prevent him from doing some pretty significant science!
I recommend the film and hope it will gain more exposure than it currently has received.