One day the withdrawn Noé finds a motionless android in the forest, takes it with her, and reactivates it. It’s the beginning of a strange relationship. However, Noé realizes far too late that the android is about to copy her personality
More short films, kiddies! Today we have I AM, a film project from the Hamburg Media School. This was written by Florens Huhn and directed by Jerry Hoffmann.
Our story opens on a woman called Noe (Sheri Hagen) who is living alone in a lovely old home. She seems to be a tinkerer, repairing old electronics and picking up scraps to work with.
Out in the woods one day, Noe discovers what appears to be an abandoned doll. She carries it back home, cleans it up, and starts to make repairs. Its not a doll, per se. Its a robot, and her name is Ela (Melodie Wakivuanina). Once repaired and charged, Ela and Noe start to talk, and we learn how both of them have come to be out here alone.
I was a bit shocked to discover this was a science fiction film. I love sci fi films, and I don’t get them very often. And this was a perfect way to do this genre. Two characters, minimal effects, a character study of two people in a confined space. Everything is believeable, and everything is grounded in reality.
Both of these actressess are so very good, but I really have to talk about Ms. Wakivuanina. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that Ela was a real person at first. I thought it was an exceptionally well made doll. Even after she started to move and talk, I still wasn’t sure. The actress not only carries off the expected robotic movements and expressions, but she also gave Ela just a hint of humanity. The costume design, minimal effects, and lighting combined with her performance was simply stunning.
Ms Hagen has a long list of credits, mostly German language stuff with which I admit to not having familiarity. But she clearly has a lot of experience and it shows strongly in this film.
This is a wonderful film, one of the best shorts I’ve seen in some time. I’ve never been disappointed with anything from Hamburg Media School, but this is my favorite up to this point. I can’t wait to see what I get next from them.