The Trouble with Being Born
Sandra Wollner, AUT 2020
We all know that human memory is fallible. We do not only relive our memories, but we also change them. The blue sweater becomes green, tea becomes coffee, and the death of your loved one becomes one big ambiguous hole. Our memory distorts every new event in our lives. But at the same time, as advocated by director Sandra Wollner, those memories shape our entire identity. How we live our lives is based on our memories, on the story we want to put together. And it is precisely this phenomenon, that is magnified in The Trouble with Being Born; the human urge to remember, relive, and to feel. Towards an absurd level.
How? By letting this urge to remember seep into the programming of androids. After all, for them, remembering is fully automatic reproduction, perfect if you want to linger in a limbo of nostalgia. And so in the film we follow Elli (Lena Watson), a robot in the form of a ten-year-old girl, who lives in a secluded life with ‘her father’ in a huge villa in the woods. The real daughter disappeared years ago and Elli has taken her place. Similar to Alps (2011, Yorgos Lanthimos), but with robots.