We already know that a good sci-fi is, in fact, a metaphor that explores through different conventions the same old obsessions of humanity. Well, ‘Q: Ghostly Remote Effect‘ is a wonderful example that discusses from an angle as familiar as it is intelligent some of the mysteries of human nature in an emotional equation bringing together a young woman and a robot. Without adopting the narrative principles of an action movie, the short film signed by Marcus Hanisch captures the evolution of such a “hybrid” relationship against the background of a futuristic society in which technology is capable of producing highly intelligent anthropomorphized robots. Even if its narrative stakes subtly recall Philip K. Dick’s philosophical sci-fi prose, this project actually excels in its psychological realism that captures the successive stages of a human-robot connection that seems to gradually change from a subordination relationship into a passionate connection.


Far from reaching a romance area, the director cleverly orchestrates a credible depiction of the human character’s psyche, who actually becomes a kind of Pygmalion syndrome victim. The relationship between creator and creation thus takes a drastic turn, since the context favours a form of self-knowledge to which the human protagonist doesn’t seem to have had access until then. Mirroring herself in her soulless creation, the human becomes aware of her own feelings, as if contemplating for the first time her face on the clear surface of an iceberg. And yet the director doesn’t stop only at the inner metamorphosis of this character, drawing with an apparent superficiality the profile of a robot beginning to realize its own identity. The process of mirroring one’s interiority into the other becomes a mutual act. This tender relationship evolving on the basis of a permanent exercise of self-knowledge is framed by the spatial barriers of a primitive, Adamic nature in which the two characters begin their own odyssey. The solemn and crepuscular beauty of the frames captured by Marcus Hanisch resonates harmoniously with the inner tumult of the characters who, like the first people on Earth, begin their journey on a new, unexplored territory: their own identity. It remains to be seen, however, what is the great epiphany that their destination will bring. ‘Q: Ghostly Remote Effect’ falls into that category of intelligent sci-fis, for which it is not the spectacular action or effects that really matter, but the depth of philosophical and psychological insight.


For the intelligence with which it captures the mutations of the human soul in its spontaneous process of self-knowledge and for the professionalism with which the director condenses the solemnity of a primitive nature in a deep radiograph of human nature, ‘Q: Ghostly Remote Effect’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the November 2020 edition of TMFF.