I caught the trailer of a (Spanish?) film a few months ago. Set in the near future, there was a scene where the main character was working (touring?) a laboratory where robotics students were learning how to make highly lifelike (but miniature) horse robots.

While observing the students, one of them makes a mistake (he forgets to give some sort of verbal command?) and the horse suffers agony, writhing in pain before eventually dying (possibly as a result of his having finally given the right command). The main character then uses this horrifying incident as a teaching tool, stressing that if mistreated, these robots have a tendency to die unpleasantly and can't be repaired.

I recall he was building a larger (human-form?) AI robot, possibly in the form of a young girl or young woman.

  • 1
    Brb, finding a junior novelisation of this film to quote in an answer ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 23 '15 at 23:58
  • That was a joke: I didn't think I'd actually be able to answer a story-ID question from you!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 24 '15 at 0:02
  • @randal'thor - I spent a good 10 mins searching for this. My google-fu has failed me (ˇ_ˇ’!l)
    – Valorum
    Dec 24 '15 at 0:05
  • 1
    Really?? It was literally the top result for the first Google search I tried. Have you been drinking too much? :-P
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 24 '15 at 0:07
  • @randal'thor - I'll admit to having had a small snifter of port this evening.
    – Valorum
    Dec 24 '15 at 0:08

It's a 2011 film called Eva. From the Wikipedia description:

Eva is a 2011 Spanish science fiction film directed by Kike Maíllo. [...] The film is set in 2041, in the time when humans live along with machines. [...] Álex visits Julia as she lectures to students at in a robotics laboratory. A pair of students, their tests on their small robotic horse failing, dismantle it with the phrase "What do you see when you close your eyes?" The robot falls to the ground, and Álex gently admonishes them, telling them that even if they restart the robot, it will never be the same; the phrase "kills" the robot by destroying its emotional memory, and thus, its soul.

This was the top result I got by Googling "Spanish film horse robots".

Here's the scene the OP was thinking of:

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