The very idea that human beings may one day be rendered obsolete by improving technology is a hard concept to swallow. Sofian Khan’s short film, Doppelbänger, transports us into the future, where there exists not only hovering vehicles but also robotic doubles called Doppelsynths, who have now taken over the workforce in place of humans. When George (Gibson Frazier), a struggling writer, is in the middle of having sex with an illegally programmed double that performs sex work as a second job, the bot malfunctions and he is forced to call its owner (Annapurna Sriram) for help.

With everything in black and white, save for within the mind of the Doppelsynth while it’s charging, it makes it seem as if this new world has been sucked of all life and happiness, a life that has been stolen by these bots. There is a lot of societal commentary within Doppelbänger, where our two protagonists exist within this community that is no longer theirs because of the things they helped create, seemingly out of a want for convenience, that has now been taken too far and instead restricts and controls humans.

Films such as this, reminiscent of the worlds created in the television series Black Mirror, hit hard because they seem to hold up a mirror to our faces and show us that this fantasy world on screen is not so far off from reality. Although its runtime is short, Doppelbänger introduces us to enough of this universe to leave you wanting more. 

Doppelbänger gives us a glimpse into an extremely promising concept. Together, Frazier and Sriram create an interesting dynamic between two characters that has much potential, and this compelling idea that was executed well by Khan could easily be the start of a bigger production that further explores this world. 



CAST: Gibson Frazier, Annapurna Sriram

DIRECTOR: Sofian Khan

WRITER: Sofian Khan

SYNOPSIS: In a future where your robotic double goes to work for you, humans are rapidly approaching obsolescence.