Somewhere in Central Europe, perhaps in the vicinity of Vienna, in the near future. Ten-year-old Elli is an android, as we soon learn. She takes shape through programming and this turns her into a fantasy figure. Firstly for a man she calls “Daddy” with whom she lies by the pool and for whom she dresses up in the house at the edge of the forest. Elli is the vessel for his memories, which mean nothing to her, but everything to him. One day he runs after a strange echo and gets lost in the darkness while Elli, who follows him, is picked up by strangers. A new identity awaits her, a new ghostly existence – as a blank screen onto which others can project their loss of the paradise that is childhood. What begins as a chamber play-like and enigmatic atmospheric study of a strange father-daughter relationship becomes more and more of a psychotrip in the spirit of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl.
This film contains themes that viewers may find upsetting. Although The Trouble with Being Born explores ethical topics that must be considered as we look toward the future of Artificial Intelligence, we nevertheless feel it is necessary to advise interested attendees that the film also contains disturbing subject matter.
Therefore, although we almost never assign ratings to films, we screen, we have decided to give this film a rating of R, as its content and subject matter most closely fit the R rating. We also are including content warning for themes of incest and child sexual abuse. We kindly ask you to strongly consider this content warning before registering for the film. Thank you!