‘Mother/Android’ First Look: A Pregnant Woman vs. the Robopocalypse

The initial protests that led to the 1989 downfall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu resulted in the initial deaths of 162 demonstrators. More than 1,100 would die in the events that followed as decades of Communist rule came to an agonizing end. Tomlin only knows fragments of how his birth parents coped, so he used his imagination—and obsessive love of genre storytelling—to fill in the rest.

“I spent years trying to figure out what my first movie was going to be,” Tomlin says. “I’d come up with lots of different scripts, lots of different stories, and it was very Goldilocks: This one’s too big. This one’s too small. Finally, a friend of mine said, ‘You need to stop writing all of these different ideas and just do something that’s so viciously personal that you’re the only person in the world that can do it.’”

In Mother/Android, the inhumanity the couple is fleeing takes the form of beings that look like us and sound like us, apart from eyes that sometimes flash with concave reflective lenses, like the glance of a nocturnal animal caught in a flashlight beam. Beneath their everyday human faces, these robots—who worked as waiters, drivers, butlers, and clerks—have terrifying metal endoskeletons, relentless machine strength, and a hive mind intelligence. “It’s not until the androids start to get damaged that they reveal themselves,” Tomlin says. “That created some narrative possibilities of Georgia and Sam being in the woods. Why are they not with a big group? It’s because you can’t trust anybody else. You don’t quite know who people are. You end up not really being able to depend on your fellow man, because are they even your fellow man?”