Mysterious and melancholic "After Yang" seeks the soul inside the machine
New talent Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja plays Mika, the young daughter of a family mourning the loss of its devoted android helper in the sci-fi drama "After Yang," which won a prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Starring Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Sarita Choudhury, Clifton Collins, Jr. and Haley Lu Richardson. Written and directed by Kogonada. Now playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox. 101 minutes. PG
"After Yang" is a mysterious and melancholic film about chasing the soul inside the machine to rediscover life.
Visually attuned “Columbus” writer/director Kogonada returns with a lyrical sci-fi saga, set in a near future where people, androids and clones grapple with loss, love and humanity.
Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith play a busy married couple, Jake and Kyra, who have long relied on their devoted android, Yang (Justin H. Min), to look after their young daughter, Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) and to run their household. Yang is so much a part of the family, they refer to him as Mika's brother.
When Yang malfunctions, possibly permanently, Jake and Kyra discover he possessed a memory filled with appreciation of human life (and that of biological clones), a quality they have allowed to wither in their own lives.
A gorgeous piano score by composers ASKA, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Mitski — I want this score! — completes the mood of blissful introspection.
After debuting at last year's Cannes Film Festival, "After Yang" won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, a prize awarded to an outstanding feature film about science or technology. 🌓
(This review originally ran in the Toronto Star.)