“Did you ever want to be human?” “That’s such a human thing to ask, isn’t it?”
Writer-director Kogonada’s second feature premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and recently played in the Spotlight section at Sundance. Based on a short story by Alexander Weinstein, the futuristic tale centers around android Yang (Justin H. Min), whose malfunctions prompts a deeper discussion about life, loss, and the importance of family.
The official synopsis reads: “When his young daughter’s beloved companion — an android named Yang — malfunctions, Jake (Colin Farrell) searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter across a distance he didn’t know was there.”
Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja stars as Farrell and Turner-Smith’s onscreen daughter, who counts Yang as her older sibling and companion.
“We’re not going to buy another sibling,” Turner-Smith states in the trailer, as Farrell investigates whether the robot was hacked with spyware.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich reviewed “After Yang” out of Cannes, calling the film a “cozy sci-fi marvel that can only be made by someone with an incorruptible belief in the life of objects and the humanity of all things.”
“Through its hushed portrait of loss and reclamation, ‘After Yang’ whispers a powerful fable about an all too present tomorrow in which people are more intimate with technology than they are with their own family,” Ehlrich wrote. “Few movies have ever felt so knowing or non-judgmental towards the love that we divert onto material things, and even fewer have so earnestly speculated that those things might be able to love us back…The film’s relationship between nearness and not — oneself and the other — is rich enough for ‘After Yang’ to resonate well into the unspecified time period alluded to by its title. It’s tempting to wish that it were longer, or that it ever returned to the bombastic high of its opening minutes, but it’s in the space between that blast of noise and the numbness that follows where the movie finds its power.”
“After Yang” will premiere in theaters March 4, and stream on Showtime. Check out the trailer below.