Crystal Moselle, Jon Kasbe / Hong Kong, United States / 2022 / 89 min
A robot-maker in need of money and his electronic daughter are the stars in a bittersweet film about what happens when big dreams collide with a capitalist reality, and about what it means to be a real human being.
Sophia wants to be friends with everyone. The only problem is that Sophia is a robot. Created with realistic facial expressions and warm cheeks by David Hanson, he moved his entire family to Hong Kong to work on her. There’s life in everything, Hanson believes, but the reality is that there’s also a market for everything – including artificial intelligence. And that market is fierce. Hanson is strapped for cash and needs to attract investors, while his family life is going off the rails. Where many films about AI stick to the lint-free safe space of the lab, ‘Sophia’ is a tale of rivalry and the dirty game that is a prerequisite for the development of new technologies. Along the way, you can follow Sophia as both her intelligence and personality evolve from day to day. Co-directed by Crystal Moselle (‘The Wolfpack’).