Mirror by Dan DeVoto | Script Revolution

Mirror

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A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

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MIRROR
A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

In 1950, Alan Turing introduced the epochal ‘Turing Test’: a set of questions designed to evaluate a computer’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior similar, or at least indistinguishable, from that of an actual human being.

Since the introduction of this test, many a movie has tackled the ramifications of AI - personified by everything from a computer (Wargames) to programmable killers (Terminator) to sentient beings longing to blend into society, and just “be left alone” (Blade Runner).

The prospect of cloning makes such a moral dilemma even more of a tangled web.  ‘Mirror’ by Dan DeVoto wrestles with these weighty issues in a highly personal and unsettling way.

The focus of the story is on Dr. Anna Beresky, as she visits a remote research facility in the outskirts of some unnamed town. Despite the drab setting, it’s clear from the pervasive security that whatever they’re researching there, must be important and quite classified.

But Anna is not an interloper. Indeed, her presence is welcomed by Administrator Simmons, who eagerly greets the doctor at the metal detector checkpoint.

SIMMONS, in his late 50s, a carefully coifed bureaucrat, comes to meet her.

SIMMONS
So good of you to finally come.

They shake hands.

SIMMONS
I hope the journey wasn’t too arduous.
We’re a bit out in the boonies, as you can see.

ANNA
I’m fine. Thank you.

Simmons excitedly escorts Anna through the facility - listing the practicality of what they've "engineered". Though he fawns over the Doctor, her responses seem curiously cool and clipped.

ANNA
How many do you have?

SIMMONS
Thirty-five, from the original five prototypes.

ANNA
You must be proud.

SIMMONS
Imagine the application; organ harvesting, no-cost labor supply.
We might just put the industrial revolution to shame.

ANNA
Yes.

As with most tours, the ending is the best.  Simmon brings Anna into a room to meet one of the "test subjects" personally.... bringing her face to face with what she herself helped create.  It's at this juncture the moral/philosophical subtext of this story comes to a sudden and startling head.

Elegant in its conclusion, Mirror poses a profound allegory to its audience. And one simple question: “What would I do, in Anna’s place?”

Filmmakers who love the thoughtfulness of shows like Westworld and Humans will enjoy this smart, sharp short in spades. Not only will Mirrors pass the ‘Turing Test’, but gain loyal fans as well!

Review by Jeremy Storey
Submitted: May 28, 2018
Last Updated: May 28, 2018

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The Writer: Dan DeVoto

I'm a freelance writer and have optioned a thriller to Newmark Films. I also write crime fiction and science fiction short stories. My work has appeared in Mystery Weekly Magazine, Over My Dead Body!, Heater, The Absent Willow Review, and Aphelion Webzine. Go to bio

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