Film The Golem Discussion

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08:40:01 AM Nov 10th 2013
Recently, this example
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Rabbi has no qualms about turning the Golem on and off at his will, and ultimately, destroying it. The Golem eventually takes offense at it.
has been removed from the trope list with the edit reason: "The Golem was not alive and went out of control due to Asteroth."

I'd like to contest this removal. While the human characters obviously treat the Golem as an object, the movie certainly plays with the possibility, even suggests that the Golem was alive, after all. He began to show emotions and develop a will of its own; to say that he was "not alive", on the gounds that that's how the humans treat him in-story, is missing out on a lot.

That the rebellion of the Golem is blamed on a Celestial Deadline by the Rabbi's book does not contradict this. Maybe it was the constellation that let the Golem develop a mind of its own (and thus, turn into a living being, as opposed to a mere machine). This doesn't contradict that the movie latently plays with the theme of "what makes a living person?"

In fact, the description of What Measure Is a Non-Human? says that "Robots and Artificial Intelligence stories examine this quite a lot in their plots." I'd hold that this is the case in The Golem.
06:41:48 PM Nov 10th 2013
Going by the version I watched I did not get the impression at any point that the Golem had a will of its own other than maybe a basic programming to do whatever it was told. In the film, a certain astrological movement allowed Asteroth to influence the Golem turning it into a destructive and rebellious nature due to the presence of the demon. It would not allow anyone to remove the amulet that gave it life and was very protective of it. Once the demon was gone the Golem became docile again and allowed the child to remove the amulet. If at some point in the film it showed some sort of protectiveness of its pendent even peacefully without Asteroth's influence I would admit that it probably had developed a will of its. I just don't see that being the case here since in the film it made it very clear it was due to an outside influence making it temporarily rebellious and without the demon's influence it has no will of its own. I look at it more as the Golem being a machine and Asteroth being a virus that corrupted it. Once the virus is removed it went back to its original state.

So, in short if the Golem at any point had demonstrated a protectiveness of its amulet before or after Asteroth had begun to influence it I would agree with out. But since I do not recall any of this happening I don't see it it as a case of an artificial creation that gained intelligence. It was a machine that had its programming corrupted that made it destructive and when that was fixed reverted to normal.
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