Phie Ambo is one of the most obvious talents in new Danish documentary film. She showed great observational skills in her last film “Gambler” about the filmmaker Nikolaj Refn Winding (the “Pusher” trilogy), skills she is also using in her “Mechanical Love”, which is primarily about the robot research and fabrication done in Japan.
Stylistically, however, the film is completely different. Ambo has decided to use static panoramic totals, that enables her to stay “cool” when it comes to the Japanese researcher(s), and that makes it easy for her to swift from Japan to Germany, to the old lady that loves her robot baby seal as was it a living pet.
It seems like Ambo has decided not to fall into the trap of an easy condemnation of the robot making as “inhuman” and dangerous for our future. Her withdrawn position makes her open to hear and watch what the researchers are actually able to do. This makes the Japanese part of the film exciting. And scary, of course, when we see the daughter of the researcher look at a geminoid of her father, not wanting to touch it. The mother, on the contrary, has no problem in wiping away the left chocolate from her geminoid husband’s lips. The researcher is the one that carries the film with his philosophical reflective remarks to the director. A clever, yet also obsessed man… who has made copies of his daughter and wife. They can move their heads and their bodies, next step: can they have feelings? Like the baby seal that makes the every day of frau Körner in Germany endurable.