Set in the not-so-distant future, Neysan Sobhani’s (Passages, Dimensions) film deals with the question of whether love can exist without lies. When you first read that it seems like a strange question. Like, of course, it can. That true love means being completely honest with someone else. But if you truly think about it, is it such a strange concept? Can you think of a relationship, in your experience or the people around you, in which there are no lies? Big ones, small ones, or something in between. All of us probably lie dozens of times a day without really even thinking about it or realizing it. We lie to spare the feelings of those we love. We lie to make our own lives easier. We lie to avoid conflict. There are a million reasons and the reasons are not necessarily bad/evil ones. This change of perspective gives birth to a film like this.
It is a decade after the Great War and people around the planet are undertaking a rebuild. This rebuild includes the belief that the ability to lie is at the root of all problems. Humans believe that the Great War was caused by lies.
Entrepreneurs and scientists are tasked with developing something which will stop humans from lying. One tech entrepreneur develops a pill that has nanotechnology app he has called Guidance. The app supposedly leads to enlightenment. Once you take the pill an A.I. is in the person’s nervous system allowing the host to be able to determine if the person they are interacting with is lying.
Two young people (Jia Sun and Harry Song) in a relationship decide to go away to the countryside and begin to use Guidance. It is not as simple as that as a recent event has right off the bat compromised their trust in one another. They begin to realize that Guidance is not the answer to their problems, so they try to stop it before it is too late.
Often the sci-fi film genre deals with moral or ethical issues humans are faced with. As a debut feature film, this is a rather interesting foray into filmmaking for Sobhani. It tackles a rather involved and universal subject. A subject involving technology that you have to think is not too far away due to all the advances in A.I. Definitely makes you think. Sometimes during the film, you feel hopeful while at others you are a little scared about the future. You are definitely taken on a voyage here. Wondering if technology can possibly be all good…or as soon as humans are factored in it becomes both light and dark.
Visually it is a beautiful film featuring some stunning shots. The visuals are not just something for your eyes to take in but also are metaphors for what is going on in the story. A nuance that also makes up the performances of Sun and Song. They take on the complexity of the issue with confidence and an understanding of its layers.
Guidance is available on all major VOD digital and cable platforms in the United States, Canada and worldwide. In Canada you can watch it on Apple TV/iTunes, Google Play, Xbox Store, YouTube Movies, Shaw, and Microsoft Store.