Origin Of The Species (Experimental doc on android dir. by Abby Child)


Origin of the Species is a film about ethics, tech, and robotics, and envisioning the future of AI regarding its impact on our relationships, desire, and humanity itself.


Directed by the experimental film pioneer Abigail Child (www.abigailchild.com), and produced with Jennifer Burton.  Editing: Mary Patierno.  Consultant Editor: Yael Bitton.

The film had its world premiere at the preeminent DOC NYC Film Festival and is distributed by Journeyman Pictures.

Film Trailer :

Connect with us about ORIGIN on Facebook and Twitter.  #ethics, #tech, #robotics, #ethicaltech, #OriginOfTheSpecies



Abigail Child has been at the vanguard of experimental media since the 1980s. In her latest project, she offers viewers an eerie and exciting look into the present and future of artificial intelligence through the perspectives of robotics scientists, entrepreneurs, and a Black lesbian robot named BINA48. Exploring AI’s design, potential medical applications, and exploitation in the arena of sexual fantasies, Child’s thought-provoking film considers the emerging technology’s ethical and emotional implications, presenting a speculative not-too-distant future grounded in sci-fi.   


This film has English language closed captioning available.


Delving into the World of Artificial Intelligence, “Origin of the Species” Is Both Insightful and Artistically Poignant:  https://filmfestivaltoday.com/film-reviews/doc-nyc-film-review-delving-into-the-world-of-artificial-intelligence-origin-of-the-species-is-both-insightful-and-artistically-poignant

Blog Talk Radio:  https://www.blogtalkradio.com/wams/2020/11/10/documentary-filmmaker-abigail-child-on-her-new-movie-origin-of-the-species

Women And Hollywood:  https://womenandhollywood.com/doc-nyc-2020-women-directors-meet-abigail-child-origin-of-the-species/

EPK: ORIGINepk20201011-3M


2020. 73 min. B/W & color.

An experimental feature documentary that explores current realities of android development with a focus on human/machine relations, gender & the ethical implications of this research. The film records cutting edge laboratories in Japan & the USA where scientists attempt to make robots move, speak & look human. These scientists & their discoveries are contextualized with cinematic & pop culture references, to underline the mythic, comic & uncanny aspects of our aspirations.

We are led on these explorations by BINA48, (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture) who has variously been called a sentient robot, an android, a gynoid, and a cybernetic companion. She is modeled after a black lesbian, and designed to test hypotheses concerning the ability to download a person’s consciousness into a non-biological or nanotech body. Personable and occasionally humorous, BINA48 is alternately hopeful, analytical and ambiguous.

The last in Child’s trilogy of female desire, ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES reveals the contemporary dance between metal and flesh, as humans become more mechanical (bio replacements, dependence on computers/phones) while robots, those human mirrors, aim for consciousness.

The film brings a necessary female perspective (and humor) to this research, asking: How subjectivities and nationalities shape our imaginings of an “appropriate” mechanical companion? Why are Siri and Alexa ‘fitted’ with female voices?