Genetically Modified Humankind

For the Thought Question:Gattaca makes use of a fairly conventional message: human individuality, know-how and grit triumph! In this case, Vincent/Ethan Hawke triumphs over a rigid and fascist elite (or the gene machine). Yay for the human capacity to face and overcome adversity!! (You are more than your genes!)   At the same time, the movie also assumes “ideal” or “perfect” in its depiction of Gattaca’s gene elite. (Think about assumptions concerning what that idea of perfection consists of.) Think about the decision in the final images of the movie: the camera pans giving us close ups of Vincent’s fellow crew members.Because the future assumes capitalism, it also assumes that “good” parents buy “good” genetic make-up for their child. (The better the parent, the better the child, the more it costs.) In this world we can assume that what is now a class system would become what is in effect a caste system: “valids” breed more of society’s leaders (tiered respectively) while “in-valids” continue to make a working class of unskilled labor and toilet-bowl cleaners. Yet, within the world of Gattaca, within that system, our hero overcomes obstacles, finds love, pursues his dream.Thought Question: So what’s going on?… Explain how you think this movie works relative to what this movie seems to assume –or evade– about a genetically modified humankind.

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