When and Where Does Nowhere Take Place?

Netflix’s ‘Nowhere’ is a Spanish-language thriller drama movie starring Anna Castillo in the lead role. The movie follows Mia, a young pregnant woman who escapes a totalitarian country at war by hiding inside a maritime container aboard a cargo ship. However, Mia is forced to fight for survival when the container is left adrift in the ocean. As a result, the movie’s time period and geographical setting remain ambiguous. Hence, viewers must be wondering when and where ‘Nowhere’ takes place!

Nowhere Is Set in a Dystopia

‘Nowhere’ follows the story of Mia, a pregnant woman escaping her home country. After the country is taken over by a totalitarian regime that kills dependent citizens amidst a shortage of basic resources such as food and water. As a result, Mia and her husband Nico pay human traffickers to take them to a safe location away from the totalitarian regime. While the film does not establish an exact timeline for its events, Mia and Nico remain in contact using smartphones, which implies the movie takes place in the present day. However, the war against which the narrative is set and the totalitarian regime are fictional elements.

These elements imply that the story occurs in a dystopian future or an alternate timeline lacking basic resources. Nonetheless, the lack of clarity over the exact time period adds to the chaos and claustrophobic feeling of the narrative, thereby tying into the film’s title. Furthermore, the dystopian setting provides the makers with an interesting sociopolitical backdrop that also comments on the real-world issues surrounding immigration and migrants. Nonetheless, based on the evidence and technology used in the movie, it is safe to say ‘Nowhere’ takes place in the near future, close to the present day.

Nowhere Originates in Spain

In the film, Mia and Nico are being transported in a shipping container that will take them out of their country through a shipping route. While the movie does not firmly establish where the couple lives, it implies they are from Spain. In the opening moments, a radio news broadcast confirms that the totalitarian regime has conquered Spain and its neighboring countries. As a result, the film’s opening minutes take place at a port in Spain. However, Mia’s container is knocked off the ship, and she finds herself adrift in the ocean. Hence, most of the movie takes place in the vast expanse of the ocean with no clear indication of where Mia and her newborn daughter, Noa, are headed.

In the opening moments, it is revealed that Mia, Nico, and the other passengers are being smuggled to Ireland, which has seemingly rejected the totalitarian regime. As a result, it is a safe haven for people like Mia, who are threatened by the regime in their homeland. During the film’s final moments, Mia and Noa are saved by a fisherwoman and her family.

The family speaks among themselves in English and Gaelic. As a result, it is implied that Mia and Noa have reached Ireland or Scotland after a long and challenging journey in the ocean. Since a majority of the movie takes place on the sea between Spain and Ireland, it is safe to say that Mia and Noa cross the Bay of Biscay and Celtic Sea to arrive at their destination. Nonetheless, the movie’s not specifying the mother and daughter’s exact location adds to the uncertainty of their situations and amplifies their struggle for survival.

Read More: Nowhere: Is the Netflix Movie Based on a True Story?