I Am

Of late the film world has been undergoing some positive changes. Diversity and inclusivity are just a couple of examples. The Sci-fi film genre has not exactly been available to people of colour. Several filmmakers are looking to change that. One is German director Jerry Hoffmann whose short film I Am has two characters and they are both female and of colour. Baby steps until every genre is open to all.

A rather introverted Noé (Sheri Hagen) an android (Melodie Wakivuamina) a walk in the forest. She brings it home. Once there she begins to work on reanimating the black female android. That happens and the questions begin. Noe wants to know where the android comes from. Who owned her? How did she get in the forest?

The android seems rather hesitant to answer the questions. A strange relationship begins between robot and human. One in which Noé discovers that the android is trying to copy her personality.

A refreshing and long overdue inclusion of women and blacks within the sci-fi genre. Science is still largely a world of white men, so young black females need to see themselves within this world. Also, something to take notice of is that a German film features two black females in lead roles. Has that ever happened before?

Themes or subjects such as robot ethics, power structures and identity crop up over the 26 run time of the short. These headier topics are combined with a rather eerie atmosphere that runs throughout most of the film. Hoffmann’s film asks us to question what we think of androids or robots as technology is allowing for them to become more and more like humans. I am sure that films like this and Ex Machina will become more and more common as the technology continues to advance.

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