A humanoid sentient robot raises a young woman from an embryo in an underground bunker, after an unspecified cataclysmic event wipes out the human population of Earth. That’s the basic premise of I Am Mother, a thoughtful and chilling new sci-fi feature on Netflix that explores questions of contextual morality—and what it means to be human.
(Some spoilers below.)
The AI robot, Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) has a whole room full of embryos in its underground bunker, with the objective of eventually repopulating the Earth. But first she has to prove she can be a good Mother by raising the perfect Daughter (Clara Rugaard), who grows into a smart, fit, and highly capable young woman. But Daughter is also naive, a bit lonely, and frankly approaching puberty with no prospective human partners on the horizon. Then their peaceful existence is shattered by the arrival of a Wounded Woman (Hilary Swank) who somehow survived the cataclysm. Her hostile presence drives a wedge between Mother and Daughter.