'I Am (big) M(Other)': Lacan’s big Other and the Role of Cynicism in Grant Sputore's I Am Mother

Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture, Media, Groups, Politics (80):121-131 (2020)
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Abstract

How can one make sense of our current political, ecological and technological dilemmas through the lens of Grant Sputore’s I Am Mother (2019)? Well-received, the film has been commended for its account of the increasing role and impact of artificial intelligence and its relation to our ongoing ecological dilemmas and potential catastrophe. While these issues are played-out through the on-screen relationship between robotic mother and human daughter, the film can also be used to help shed light on our current ideological predicaments. With a narrative that steers towards our preference for cynical detachment, apathy and resignation, this review draws upon Lacan’s notion of the big Other, and its relation to the subject, in order to provide further discussion on the film’s ambiguous ending and the deeper sense of impotence that it accurately portrays with regards to our current political malaise.

Author's Profile

Jack Black
Sheffield Hallam University

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