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Eugenics season

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Eugenics season

Who says scientific theory and cinematic endeavour are mutually exclusive? Certainly not the organisers of this weekend long Biomedical Ethics Film Festival, which delves into the ethically fraught discussion of human perfection and our right to strive for it. This series of screenings and panel discussions starts on the Friday night with Swedish documentary Homo Sapiens 1900, about the birth and rise of the eugenics movement in the 20th century. This is followed by recently released tearjerker My Sister’s Keeper starring Cameron Diaz (about childhood illness) and Andrew Nicol’s 1997 Brave New World rip off Gattaca. Things come to an end with documentary Who’s Afraid of Designer Babies?

Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 20-Sun 22 Nov

Gattaca

  • 4 stars
  • 1997
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Andrew Niccol
  • Written by: Andrew Niccol
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal, Loren Dean

In the future, discrimination isn't based on the colour of a man's skin, but his genetic make-up. 'Naturally' born Vincent (Hawke) forms a pact with crippled Jerome (Law) to use his genetic identity in an attempt to become an astronaut. The photography is washed by coloured filters and the retro-future design is as…

My Sister's Keeper

  • 2009
  • US
  • 109 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
  • Cast: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, EG Daily, Lin Shaye, Thomas Dekker, Emily Deschanel, Joan Cusack, Luke Wilson

When the daughter of seemingly perfect parents Sara (Diaz) and Brian (Patric) requests not to carry on with the medical donations that keep her leukaemia stricken sister alive they are forced to deal with some deep moral and ethical questions. Tear jerking adaptation of Jodi Picoult's popular novel.

Homo Sapiens 1900

  • 1998
  • Sweden
  • 88 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Peter Cohen

Documentary tracing the birth and rise of the eugenics movement in the early 20th Century.

Who's Afraid of Designer Babies?

  • 2004
  • UK
  • 50 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Sean Cousins

Horizon edition that examines three techniques often linked to alarmist headlines about designer babies - pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, gene therapy and cloning. This screening will be followed by Angel-benito Garcia-Anta's short film 'Eugenic Questions'.

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