Alice Cares ★★★½

In 2025, there will be four times as many 80 year olds as there are alive today. Alice Cares looks at the question of how we will care for this growing aged population. The documentary follows a pilot currently being done in the Netherlands for a 'health care' robot. Her name is Alice, she has doll-like features and her job is to converse with seniors who live alone and help them in any way she can.

There's something cold and sad about filling a human-sized hole in a person's life with a programmed robot. And yet, the truth is, some form of companionship is better than none. Director Sander Burger takes a minimalist approach, quietly observing the old women as they interact with Alice in their homes. Her awkward interruption of their still lives is challenging, and yet you come to celebrate the small moments. Every time Alice fumbles in a conversation, I'm disappointed; every time she does something well, it's a victory.

It seems inevitable that, with the passing of time and more improvements, Alice will become more and more humanlike. Watching this documentary, I'm faced with the very likely possibility that when I'm 80, I will be conversing with one of Alice's descendants.
Truly, we are living in the future.

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