EVA — What do you see when you close your eyes?

EVA is a recent Spanish science fiction film, very good and fresh, one of the best I have seen recently. In 2041, humanoid robots are commonplace. There are strict safety requirements and, if a robot proves unsafe, the words “What do you see when you close your eyes?” will switch it off and wipe its memory out.

Robotics researcher Alex returns to his snowy home town after ten years of absence. The local University of Santa Irene is now one of the top robotics research centers in the world. Alex has a contract to develop an advanced robot child with the emotions of a human child. This is a new phase of the project that he started before leaving ten years before.

Alex needs a child as a model, but he finds the candidate children proposed by the University boring. He prefers Eva, the daughter of his brother David and their common friend Lana, both researchers at the University, who were also involved in the robot child project before Alex left.

Alex starts building  the robot’s mind using Eva as a model. He builds a model of Eva’s mind and implements it in the robot’s software using a virtual and augmented reality visual design system, which permits visualizing the developing brain at work and fixing mistakes “by hand.” Everything works well… but who is Eva?

No spoilers here (it will be enough to say that what you suspect from the first few minutes of the film is probably wrong), but I recommend everyone to watch this film.

EVAWikipedia: EVA is a 2011 Spanish French science fiction film directed by Kike Maíllo. It was released on 7 September 2011 at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, where it was screened out of competition. The film stars Daniel Brühl, Marta Etura, Lluís Homar and Alberto Ammann.

The film is set in 2041, in the time when humans live along with machines. Álex (Daniel Brühl), a renowned cybernetic engineer, returns to Santa Irene to carry out a very specific mission for the Robotic Faculty — to create a child robot. During his ten–year absence, life has moved on for his brother David (Alberto Ammann) and for Lana (Marta Etura), who married David after Álex’s departure. Álex’s routine is altered in an expected way by Eva (Claudia Vega), Lana and David’s charismatic daughter. She and Álex have a special connection from the moment they meet. They set out on a journey together, which will bring them to a revelatory end.

EVA received generally positive reviews from film critics. Miguel Juan Payán of the Acción Cine described the film as a “brave science fiction exercise”, and compared it to classics such as Frankenstein, Metropolis, Blade Runner and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He awarded the film with five out of five points, and especially praised the performances of the cast members. Ignacio Lasierra of the Cine para leer also reviewed the film positively, calling it a “strong and beautiful film with robots.”The website Critics Cinema gave EVA 4.5 out of five stars and described it as “an intelligent film that, aparts from notable effects, also offers interesting and emotional stories.”