Gattaca provides an image of a futuristic society that categorizes and finds difference in its people primarily through markers in their genetic make up. This society has the power to choose traits for their unborn children based on what society has deemed ‘desirable’. In this world we find a society that is split between those who have been genetically created, valids, and those who have not, invalids. A simple drop of blood is all that is needed to find out: what your potential is, what your capable of doing, and even when you are going to die. This film begs the question: What is happening in the world of genetic testing? Is this too far? What is too far? Who gets left out? And who gets to ultimately decide? This film was set in the future but its not the first time we’ve seen the dangerous of eugenics.
Is this research a good thing? What are the benefits of this knowledge? Or is it art? as we saw in the example of the glow in the dark bunny, alba.
Is this something that will help our society, mock it or hurt it? How far into discovering something is too far? Who and what does new knowledge or even furthermore, the discovery of truth; benefit or threaten?
Gattaca presents an ideology that in many ways seems to eliminate personal interactions as a means of knowing someone. All the information needed for understanding a person is deduced from a drop of blood. Interestingly, the body itself, as a marker, is being eliminated from social interactions. Others ability to draw most conclusions about a person isnt gathered interpersonally. Rather, that information is gathered through the preconceived notions of their genetics and assigned status. So then the body itself– is no longer the source of truth for ones identity.
As we saw in gattaca the main character was able to fool others into believing he was valid. His blood was that of valid persons and no one was looking for physical markers that would have given him away. For example no one noticed that he wore contacts, it was assumed because he was a valid that he had perfect vision and it was through that assumption that his body didn’t betray his secret. If one can fool or trick others into believing they belong, then they do. If the genetics in the blood you give say you are: beautiful, tall, athletic, and intelligent, that is accepted as fact in Gattaca.
But, what does this say about perception and perfection really? Furthermore, society as a whole? What does this say about the value of personal attributes? Character? Or even one’s virtues? Where in your genetic makeup does that come up? Why doesn’t it seem important? What does this say about the existence or preservation of a person’s soul? I couldn’t help but wonder…
what about kindness
Why were these not considered to be attributes of a perfect person in the future? Is the need to be kind somehow irrelevant when your tall, athletic, good looking and intelligent? More importantly, is this film a more of a satire of an already contemporary reality? Consider yourselves warned and remember its never too late to be kind, you can always be kind.