In the world of the future, there is a futuristic family: mom, dad, daughter and the android Yang acting as an older brother and teacher. The robot’s sudden failure becomes a source of surprising discoveries – the record of memories found inside Yang allows us to learn the truth about his life.
“After Yang” takes place far enough in the future that it doesn’t seem unusual for a family to have acquired a virtual big brother for their adopted Chinese daughter. The robot — or “techno-sapien,” as such advanced appliances are politely referred to in the race-blind, android-accepting society writer-director Kogonada neatly imagines — has ceased to function, and the man of the house (Colin Farrell) has the tricky task of getting him fixed. You can’t flush a surrogate sibling the way you might a dead goldfish, but tinkering with it yields profound, thought-provoking results for the family, and audiences too, in this subtly crafted sci-fi parable.
Kogonada was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States as a child. He has made a number of video essays, devoted to, among other things, Robert Bresson, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. In 2017, he made his debut feature film entitled Columbus. After Yang, another feature, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He works under a pseudonym that he got from Kōgo Noda, the screenwriter for Yasujirō Ozu.
2012 Tarantino: From Below (doc., short, video)
2014 Wes Anderson: Centered (doc., short, video)
2014 Hands of Bresson (doc., short, video)
2021 Yang / After Yang