A.I. at War

(Documentary, France, 2021, 106’, C, En ST)

by Florent Marcie

A.I. at War


In war-torn Mossoul and Rakka, and then in Paris during the Yellow Vest demonstrations, the director confronts Sota, a robot endowed with artificial intelligence, with human tragedy. As time goes by, the relations that arise with the machine raise questions about our human condition and future.


“When I began shooting in Mossoul, I had no idea— really no idea— of where this film would lead me. For me it was total exploration. And I of course had no idea either of the future Yellow Jacket movement. But that was no problem — on the contrary — since the principle of the film was precisely to throw myself into the unknown with my little companion.  If we know how to use chance, we can make it ours. So I went on autopilot, guided by the sole intuition that we had to confront Sota with humanity in all its combats and excesses.” Florent Marcie

“My approach to the universe of war is has more to do with the experience itself, more with impressions than analysis.” Florent Marcie, film-documentaire-ecrits.fr

A.I at War is not a war film as I have made them in the past. I’m not looking to film the battle so much as the symbol of destruction and devastation. For me, the apocalyptic atmosphere is a metaphor for our humanity today. We find ourselves, as a biological and cultural species, in a form of devastation. We don’t really know where we are going and we are threatened from all sides. Artificial intelligence is like a spirit that hovers over our heads and our lives, like an artificial consciousness in the cloud that envelops the earth. Hence the use of drone images. The aerial image evokes the artificial consciousness that overhangs us and observes us.” Florent Marcie, sabzian.be

Film Author :

Florent Marcie
Florent Marcie

Florent Marcie is a French journalist and reporter. For thirty years, he has been covering terrains where history is being made. He shoots, edits, and finances his own films, with an economy of means and a sense of precarity that brings him closer to the men and women he is with. His first documentary film, The Tunnel Tribe (1995) was selected for Les États Généraux du film documentaire in Lussas. There followed Under the Trees of Ajiep (Soudan, 1998), Saïa (Afghanistan, 2000), Itchkéri Kenti (Chechnya, 2006), Commander Khawani (2014), Tomorrow Tripoli (2015). They are all on the borderline between cinema and reportage, and presented out of sync with current events: a kind of middle road he is proud of. In 2015, a retrospective of four of his documentaries was organized by the Cinémathèque française. The Athens Avant-garde Film Festival devoted a retrospective to him in 2019.

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