The Unu Hwk is an underground repopulation facility that was constructed to house the embryos of 63,000 humans. The facility is manned by an android called Mother (Rose Byrne voice). Mother’s responsibility is to care for the embryos until the world can be repopulated after an apocalyptic event. Mother grows a female embryo in an artificial womb. When the baby is born Mother cares for it and teaches the child as it grows. She calls the girl Daughter (Clara Rugaard). Mother believes that she needs to practice being a good mother and raise the perfect human before she can grow the remaining embryos and repopulate the world. Daughter spends her days learning and depending on Mother for love and affection.
One day a power failure happens. Mother is also not functioning. Daughter finds where the outage happens. While repairing the damage she finds a mouse. When the power is restored Mother begins to function again. Daughter wants to know if the mouse came from outside. Mother says that they can’t take any chances and that the mouse must be destroyed and the area decontaminated. Mother has repeatedly told Daughter that it is not safe outside and even if there is life outside it must be diseased. Mother burns the mouse in a furnace.
Daughter is upset that the mouse is destroyed but the event makes her curious as to what is going on outside the confines of the bunker. One day she puts on a hazmat suit and opens the inner door to the air lock. From outside she can hear someone banging on the door. Daughter places a hazmat suit in the air lock and opens the door. A woman (Hillary Swank) stumbles in. She’s been shot. Daughter tries to hide her and tend to her but Mother finds out. Mother lets Daughter tend the woman but keeps her locked in the infirmary.
The woman tells Daughter that she was shot by a droid and that droids like Mother have been hunting down and killing humans. She tells her that there are still people hiding in a mine. She wants Daughter to go with her. Mother, on the other hand, is telling Daughter that she was shot by the same gun she had on her when she was let into the bunker. Daughter finds out some truths about Mother and her purpose. Eventually Daughter’s faith in Mother deteriorates and she begins to believe the woman. Daughter and the woman escape from Mother out into the real world. Daughter finds that both Mother and the woman have lied to her.
“I Am Mother” was released in 2019 and was directed by Grant Sputore. It is an Australian science fiction film. The screenplay was written by Michael Lloyd Green and was based on a story by Grant Sputore and Michael Lloyd Green. Mother was played by Luke Hawker as the android and Rose Byrne as the voice of the robot.
Underneath this science fiction story is a psychological thriller. If you’re looking for just a regular science fiction story you may have problems with this one. If you are a major in psychology I’m pretty sure you could write your dissertation on it.
To really understand the film you will have to look deeper. Humans have created androids that surpass man in their thinking. Now androids are trying to create humans to a similar extent. The relationship between Daughter and Mother is not as clear cut as it appears on the surface. Nor is the relationship between the woman and Daughter. In fact all three are interconnected in ways that are not fully explained in the story but are only hinted at. Even the plot holes are not really plot holes. Everything is done for a reason. Androids do not make mistakes. At least unless they have faulty programming. But then it would be the humans who programmed it that were at fault.
I found the film extremely engrossing. Some parts were a little ambiguous but there were reasons for it. I have seen several interpretations of the film and the in-depth ones run, for the most part, along similar lines. If you want a good thought provoking film this one will stay with you for quite some time.