The future society of ‘Gattaca’ explores family in the age of eugenics
July 3rd 2020

Gattaca is a 1997 science fiction film produced in the US that depicts a future society that uses reproductive technology and genetic engineering in order to produce genetically enhanced human beings.

By selectively choosing certain genes, scientists and physicians ensure that individuals born using reproductive technologies have desirable physical and psychological traits and prevent undesirable traits. The film tells the story of Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), a man conceived without the aid of reproductive technology, who works to overcome his genetic disadvantages compared to his enhanced counterparts in order to achieve his dream of a career in space travel.

Gattaca examines how individuals born naturally fared in a futuristic society in which reproductive technology is commonly used to produce children with enhanced genetics. In Gattaca, parents produce children with the help of geneticists, who use reproductive technology to selectively choose particular genes in each parent to prevent genetic disorders and to produce healthy and attractive children.

The film implies that selecting certain genes reduces an individual's propensity for violence, crime, and other undesirable behaviors. In turn helping us decide what future family we actually want.

This movie tip is part of The Harvest: Family Issue. Sign up here.

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