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'The Trouble With Being Born': Berlin Review | Reviews


Dir. Sandra Wollner. Austria/Germany. 2020. 94 mins.
At first sight, there’s nothing especially new about
The Trouble With Being Born, a drama revolving around a more than familiar science-fiction trope. But it’s the unexpected ways in which Austrian director Sandra Wollner extemporises on the topic that make this such a powerful and revelatory achievement. Awarded the Special Jury Award in the Berlinale’s new Encounters section, Wollner’s feature has attracted some controversy, one newspaper headline labelling it the “android paedophile film”. But there’s more at issue here than mere provocation, with Wollner’s complex, artfully crafted, sometimes wilfully perplexing film delving boldly into questions of memory, gender, identity and indeed film language.

Berlinale 2020: Sandra Wollner on A.I. Drama 'Trouble With Being Born' – Variety

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Panama Film
At first glance Elli appears to be a normal young girl living with her single father, spending idle afternoons lazing by a sunlit pool. But a disturbing reality is soon revealed: Elli is actually an android whose memories were programmed by the man she lovingly calls “Daddy.” Before long the true nature of their relationship becomes apparent, until the night Elli sets off to follow a ghostly echo into the woods.
“The Trouble With Being Born” is the unsettling second feature from Austrian director Susan Wollner, who won the German Film Critics’ Award in 2019 for “The Impossible Picture.” An eerie, metaphysical exploration of the identities we create for ourselves, and how they can come unraveled, pic plays in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival.

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