3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⚝
It’s a TV Series in which none of the characters we meet are ever given a name, and the named characters (whom we never meet) all have well-known biblical names: Jacob, Rachel, and Simon.
I Am Mother is Netflix’s latest entry into the dystopian genre, where the line between robots and humanity are blurred, delving into the ethics of artificial intelligence – a common theme in many books, films and TEDx talks today. An adventure that is more philosophical and cerebral than the usual action-thriller, this series features an all-female cast and delves into some of life’s deeper questions.
The film is set in the not too distant future on Earth, where an inexplicable extinction event has occurred. The focus of the story begins within a bunker that was established to repopulate humanity. The caretaker of all of the remaining human embryos is a sophisticated robot, aptly named Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne). She has the responsibility of raising a child who is birthed through an automated System, and raises the child over a 38 year period. Oddly the girl who is introduced through this time line, named Daughter (Clara Rugaard), is only in her teens when we meet her. The female student is raised to develop her mental capacities, physical prowess and her philosophical distinctions.
This unconventional utopian micro-society is disrupted by two intruders from outside the capsule. First is a mouse who manages to invade the sterile environment; the second is a wounded woman (Hilary Swank), who attempts to get into the facility and causes Daughter to question everything that Mother has told her over the years. The moral and philosophical tug-of=war for the truth that ensues between the three women, culminates in an unexpected conclusion that will leave audiences pondering for a long time to come.
A Blend of Sci-FI and Deep Thought
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Director Grant Sputore’s film manages to cut that fine line between a sci-fi adventure and a profound statement on humanity. Those looking for a dazzling display of action and computer-generated creatures need not tune in; not that action doesn’t have a place in this film, but it’s a thinking-movie at heart.. It’ll will cause audiences to consider their stance on artificial intelligence, philosophy, religion, the value of life and when life begins.
Rarely does a film leave the audience screaming for more in this era of overproduced and CGI-driven sci-fi, but I Am Mother could have been longer. Michael Lloyd Green’s script leaves you wanting to watch multiple times, to catch the questions that seem to go unanswered. In the same vein as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, this film is a fascinating experience and will leave you wondering what you’d do facing the scenarios it poses. Thanks, Mother.
‘Reel Dialogue Discussion’: Why the Fascination with a ‘New and Improved’ Human?
As the story progresses, Mother begins to exemplify the underlying desire to create a human that has superior intelligence, morality and who will not exert their power over the world, but care for the human race.
This is addressed in the Bible. Based on the premise of the Creator God who made all mankind in his image, it is no wonder that God’s creation, would want to create. Even robots who are the creation of the creation! The desire to create manifests itself in art, food, clothing, housing and even into the sciences. There is a multitude of moral juxtapositions to wrestle through in this consideration of creating new life, but the very nature to create is ingrained in humanity.
The only challenge is that God continues to prove that he is the only one to get it right when it comes to the creation of humanity.
- What does it mean to be human? (Genesis 1:27, 2:5-25)
- As a creator, what was God’s purpose in creating mankind? (Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:16)
- Is God a perfect and flawless creator? (Genesis 3)
Article supplied with thanks to Russell Matthews at Reel Dialogue. Russ (pictured) loves film, and engaging in discussions about the latest cinema offerings and then connecting this with the Gospel. He works for City Bible Forum, is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and Entertainment Fuse, and you can find all of his film reviews on Reel Dialogue (reeldialogue.com).