Bicentennial Man

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Bicentennial Man poster

Bicentennial Man is a 1999 American drama film starring Robin Williams and Sam Neill based on the well-known novella of the same name by Isaac Asimov.[1]


Plot Summary

The film portrays the evolution of the android robot Andrew Martin (Robin Williams) from his introduction into the Martin family and interaction with them through four generations: discovery of his emotional and creative abilities, development into an artist and inventor, evolution into an android, his fight to win legal recognition for his humanity, and ultimately his destiny.[2]

How it relates (Spring 2011)

The Question of Man or Machine

In this movie, an android by the name of Andrew Martin develops and evolves as he learns more of the world to the point where he soon begins his push to claim legal recognition for his humanity and to change his physical parts into things similar to those of humans. But the question still remains: is he still a robot even with legal documentation and a complete reconstruction of his insides and outside features? This question is left open to the audience, but some say he is still a robot even though he has done all that a robot can do look and imitate a human, it is still just an imitation.

He, She and it

In the novel "He, She and it" there is also a robot that makes the audience question whether a robot can ever be considered human and also what makes a human well, human. In "He, She and it" this question though is brought up through the robot, Yod, questioning his duty for which he was made for and how he starts to feel confilicted in what he feels he truly wants to do, but at the same time he is forced to protected the town. This confilict can be seen when Yod kills soldiers attacking the town he is programmed to protect, but after wards he has "feelings" of regret and sorrow, which create this sense that Yod actually has a conscience. By having a conscience this further pushes the envelop of what determines humanity and how can one distinguish the difference between machine and human.


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