I Am Mother

I Am Mother isn’t an incredibly smart or memorable take on the artificial intelligence, but the film still taps into some potent cultural anxieties.
  • 14 Nov - 20 Nov, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

I Am Mother, the debut film from Australian director Grant Sputore, follow a story about the bond between a mother and child where the mother is a robot, the child was artificially gestated and is known only as Daughter, and they’re both living in an airtight shelter after the end of the world. I Am Mother doesn’t plumb the potential weirdness of that premise, and it’s working in a well-worn genre without breaking much new ground. But it effectively dramatises our perennial love-hate relationship with artificial intelligence. The more secrets are revealed and ethical conundrums are posed, the less compelling the story becomes because every twist makes it more reminiscent of other high-concept dystopian films. The film loses track of its characters’ relationships when it focuses too much on utilitarian thought experiments. It also wastes the story’s strongest conceit: a protagonist who seems deeply ambivalent about humanity and how she deals with meeting a real person for the first time. But while parts of I Am Mother are frustratingly generic, the Mother’s physical design in a robot suit – is distinctively imposing. The film breaks with the convention of depicting powerful AI as bodiless and omnipresent, opting to obscure exactly how much Mother hears and sees.

– Compilation