"After Yang" debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and was of the most talked about films at the Sundance Film Festival this year. When his young daughter's android companion 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. After Yang is an intimate experience in film.
Director Kogonada and Farrell give us a refreshing spin on the age-old tale of artificial intelligence developing sentience. While this movie is a Sci-Fi themed movie, it is also a deep drama about a family dealing with the potential loss of their "brother." We are presented with the question about what we value. How do we value the people in our lives and what does that look like when it is unconventional? Would you love a “robot” brother as much as a human one? I know some people who value their electronics more than their friends. I don’t think we are too far off in the world that this will, someday soon, be a reality.
The ensemble cast of this film makes it work. It can be sad, cold and take you to a dark place inside of yourself. You will be left thinking about your own values, and you may not like how you feel. Some spots in the film feel empty, and you may take that for a lack of substance. If you look at it as needing to fill those empty quiet places in our minds before we can be happy, you may follow the story a little better. After Yang is defiantly a conversation starter in so many ways and you will feel like you left a therapy session.