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Award-Winning Local Production Spotlighted by NY Times

December 23, 2023

This thoughtful release is the latest in a long — and ever-growing — line of science-fiction movies considering whether or not artificial intelligence can develop self-awareness and feelings. Directed by a filmmaking duo calling itself hazart, “A Hard Problem” looks at what it means to be alive — which, naturally, also involves what it means to cease to exist. Ian (Johnny Berchtold), after the death of his mother, Mary (Jennifer Pierce Mathus), is left to sort her belongings.

The willowy young man is adrift and forlorn, which seems like a legitimate response, but actually isn’t: He’s a synthetic “artificial parallel” of the actual Ian, who died of cancer, and was created to assuage Mary’s grief. Logically, Ian should be taken out of commission since his purpose is gone. But gradually both he and Olivia (Catherine Haena Kim), a representative of the company that built him, realize that shutting down a parallel is more fraught than turning off an appliance. Considering that people now clone their pets, the issues raised in this elegantly directed, acted and designed (far from a given among modestly budgeted indies) movie are a breath away from coming true.

Read more at New York Times
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