9 July 2011


It is the year 2031 and the cost of the war in America has been enormous to the British Armed Forces.  To compensate and support British war widows, they have been issued with Jouets.  Yet some of them have exceeded their original programming and have become more attached to their human host than was intented.

This is an interesting and thought provoking film by Mike Buonaiuto which creates more questions than it answers – very often the sort of science fiction that I like.  It relies on atmosphere rather than CGI and was filmed without the aid of the spoken word which makes it, if anything, a much more enigmatic piece than it otherwise would have been.

Quite what the precise nature of the jouet is we are left to surmise on our own. Whether they are replicants (as in Blade Runner), clones or robots is left very much to the imagination. Their purpose around the house, too, is left to the imagination. However, if they were simply intended to help with the chores they probably would not have been created quite so muscular and attractive – if you get my meaning.

This is thought provoking film making, very much in the school of less is more.  As such it treats its audience as adults (unlike so much work in the science fiction genre) and demands engagement.  You may say – being used to Avatar and the likes – that nothing much happens.  Yet, hopefully like me, you will find that this resonates and that once you have seen it you will find your mind returning to it.