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Film Studies 101
Feature
50 Movie Sibling Rivalries
The brothers and sisters who just can’t seem to get along

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

The siblings: Martin (Jake Thomas) and David (Haley Joel Osment)

What puts them at odds? When Martin awakes from a coma, his parents no longer need robotic substitute son David. They abandon him on the side of a road.

Technically, this is not a sibling relationship at all, but the way in which David is dealt with here serves as a microcosm of many family battles: one son is loved whatever his condition; the other finds that the affection shown to him is only an afterthought when his ‘brother’ is not available. It all ends tragically for David, abandoned by the woman he considers his mother when she chooses her real son over the robot boy. But David’s love is steadfast, and endures through millennia under the ice, the end of civilisation and his rediscovery by robots. The heart-rending ending (envisaged by Kubrick and not Spielberg) sees David briefly reunited with his mother and finally given his own moment of family love.

Which sibling is your favourite?

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