Nowhere (2023) Ending Explained – Does Mia find salvation?

Nowhere Plot Synopsis

Nowhere is set in a world ravaged by austerity. There are strict protocols in place that have crippled the livelihood of families everywhere across numerous parts of the globe. Women and children have been affected the worst, and live in constant fear of being killed.

The narrative centers on a pregnant woman called Mia, who escapes with her boyfriend Nico onboard a shipping container bound for safer waters. However, Nico and Mia end up separated on the way, with Mia forced to go it alone and survive on a shipping container all alone for as long as she can.

Disaster inevitably strikes and with salvation seemingly miles away, Mia has seemingly insurmountable odds to survive. 

What happened to Uma?

One of the big mysteries in the movie revolves around someone whom Mia references at the start of the movie with Nico. Inside the container she says to him: “what if she’s alive and we’re leaving her behind?” Nico however, replies that she’s been taken and is dead.

So who is this person? Well, it turns out this is Mia’s other daughter, Uma. She was taken by the authorities and Mia is wracked with guilt over this choice. When the regime took over, Mia and her family locked themselves inside their house while Nico would go out to get them food. Mia let Uma go outside to play one day though as she didn’t have enough room to play. In doing so, she was taken by the authorities and killed.

How does Mia survive in the shipping container?

After the violent storm, Mia finds herself all on her own. Her phone doesn’t work and she’s got minimal amount of supplies. She does have another phone but doesn’t know the pin code to get in. However, she finds a pocket knife and uses that to pry open all the other boxes which have an array of different goodies.

She finds plastic lunchboxes, headphone wires, booze, some tools and tape, with the latter used to try and plug the bullet holes in the container to try and plug the holes in the container.

Is Nico still alive?

Yes, despite being separated in the containers early on, Nico is still alive and couldn’t call earlier on as his battery ran out. The driver screwed them over, leaving them outside the city limits. He tells them it’s going to take a few days for him to catch up. Unfortunately, the container is stuck out at sea with seemingly no way to reach her, given it’s tumbled off the ship she was on.

Later on in the movie though, Nico phones again and he explains he made it onto the next ship but he’s been shot and is losing a lot of blood. With his dying breaths they communicate, given Mia has given birth and is surviving out at sea with her babe. They close out with their goodbyes, and Mia is left to grieve the loss of her partner.

How does Mia escape?

Earlier on in the movie, Mia manages to use her pocket knife and the drill to begin forcing her way out the steel ceiling. Unfortunately, both break under the pressure. She eventually uses a rope wedged in the gaps and manages to use her own body weight (and strength) to pry the metal down and open up a route out.

With her baby Noa (named after her grandmother) in tow, Mia starts to survive on top of the container. She gets fresh water from the rain, which she keeps in the plastic lunchboxes she hasn’t tossed over with SOS messages, and she manages to fashion herself a net and catch fish, which she eats raw.

Mia miraculously only suffers from cold once, and she ignites the booze to heat up her babe during one particularly cold night. We do learn Mia is a teacher but of what? Survivalism perhaps?

Mia also manages to survive a nasty gash on her leg, which she stitches back up using a hook. Despite being cut pretty badly, she doesn’t pass out from blood loss, nor is it infected from the rusty metal, which is a bonus!

Eventually Mia makes a raft out of the inflatable plastic containers and decides to head out after surviving on fish for 26 days. Just before she leaves, the container starts to fill rapidly with water and Mia ends up stranded out at sea.

How does Nowhere end?

With the container underwater, Noa is safe in her inflatable container but Mia can’t find her. Thankfully, the power of deus ex machina sees a couple of random whales pop up out the ocean. They spray water on Noa and she starts crying in the water.

Mia swims over to Noa and survives by holding onto the side of the raft for the entire night and day. Mia throws raw fish out to seagulls hovering around, which captures the attention of fishermen nearby.

A random boat picks up Mia, who survives despite being exhausted and nearly drowning. Noa is also alive, and Mia is resuscitated by the fishers who do CPR on her. Mia survives and seems to be on her way to Ireland with her babe.

Ireland is supposed to be a safe haven but given we don’t know a whole lot more about what’s happened to the world, what awaits her there? We’re not going to find out as the film ends.

What’s happening to the world?

Nowhere imagines a world where a totalitarian regime is slowly sweeping the globe. Dubbed the “Not Enough At All” operation, austerity measures and a lack of resources have seen this group weasel their way in, promising that the shortages and measures would just be temporary. First they exterminated the elderly to deal with the shortages. Now, they’ve turned their attention to killing off pregnant women and kids.

Governments are falling and it seems like the same thing is happening around the world. It’s not explained fully, but through Nico and Mia’s dialogue, we do know that countries like Ireland, Iceland and Norway have managed to stop the massacres and are opposing the regime.

Nico, alongside other refugees, is convinced that Ireland won’t give in. However, Mia herself even says “governments are falling everywhere”. Will Ireland hold out? It seems like it’s only a matter of time, and we know the regime is brutal given we saw they didn’t even think twice about slaughtering all those refugees on the truck.

Who are The Regime?

We’re not told who the Regime are, but we do know that they’re ruthless and have seemingly mobilized across Europe. We can safely say they’re in France, Spain, Portugal and potentially Germany too. Otherwise, why else would Mia be leaving to get a boat all the way to Ireland? It’s also not outside the realm of possibility that they’re in the UK as well, given Ireland is their target destination.

Either way, Mia’s salvation is only the first step on her journey, as she now needs to try and find a new life for herself in Ireland, a country clinging to the last refuge of sanity in a world driven to madness.


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