The movie Guidance, directed by Neysan Sobhani and starring Sun Jia (Han Miao), Harry Song (Mai Zi Xuan) and Francesco Chen (Su Jie) was released in the US on VOD June 17 on all major platforms including Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, XFinity Cable, and more. (Good Deed Entertainment, 2022)
Guidance – In the not-too-distant future, humanity slowly rebuilds itself a decade after The Great War. Believing that the ability to lie is the root cause of the devastating conflict, a tech entrepreneur creates a pill containing a nanotechnology app known as “Guidance” that allegedly will make everyone more enlightened. Once swallowed, an A.I. “installs” in the person’s nervous system and aids their ability to detect deception in other people among other enhancements. A young couple goes on a weekend retreat to the countryside and they begin to use Guidance. However, recent events have potentially compromised their trust in one another. With the tech in their bodies, the couple tries to subvert Guidance in the hopes of saving their relationship before it is too late.
This movie puts forth and examines the hypothetical question: can humanity truly ever be ready for absolute honesty? It sounds like an admirable quality for a society to have, especially one that is rebuilding after a war, but in reality, sometimes little white lies are necessary. Giving people the capability to detect deception in others is worthless if humanity itself does not wish to change. Even when the technology exists, people will still try to circumnavigate the system, similar to how some people can beat a lie detector. That is exactly what happens in this movie. As the young couple who initially try it discover, the quest for full honesty did more harm than a lie would have and their relationship remains on shaky ground. They were the initial Guidance testers and eventually it was also made available to the general public who apparently come to the same conclusion. To answer my initial question: it goes without saying that humanity is not ready for the repercussions of absolute honesty. It is mostly dialogue driven and the production value is excellent, particularly the visuals. Guidance is an excellent movie and like most science fiction movies, it explores the ethics of morality and controlling human behavior.
China, 2021, 93 minutes, in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
*Thank you to Emma Griffiths PR for an advance screening.*