Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
If you could prevent your unborn child from ever getting cancer, would you do so? Or eliminate the possibility of alcoholism? Or increase your child’s IQ by 40 points? “Gattaca” is a film based on a society in which this possibility has become all too common. Genetic engineering of unborn children is the standard. Children are born with the best possible health, the best possible outlook, and the best possible intelligence. The downside? None, unless you are a “faith child,” a child born out of love, created naturally and not engineered for perfection.
Imagine a society where everyone is more intelligent and healthier than you. Imagine a society where your genetic makeup—engineered or natural—determines the job for which you are eligible, whether or not you can be insured, and who associates with you. This is the plight of Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), a young man with a dream of working for an elitist company in the prestigious position of a spacecraft navigator.
This film contains two bedroom scenes (with no nudity and no sex acts), minimal profanity, brief male nudity, some violence, and a bit of blood. If these do not offend you, this movie offers a launching board for intelligent discussion of some key social issues. “Gattaca” offers an opportunity to discuss the effects of prejudice and the reality of genetic determinism (the theory that people are born with certain tendencies, instead of choosing their lifestyle). These are hot topics and Christians should understand what the world teaches versus the truth of the Bible. This movie opens these subjects for discussion.
This is not your typical science fiction film. No aliens—no laser guns—no mutant powers. This is a drama set in a futuristic world, and is unsettling because of the potential reality of such a world. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat as Freeman struggles to succeed. If you decide to see “Gattaca”, use this film to unveil the myth that we are controlled by our genes and to smash the sin of discrimination.
Although rated PG-13, I would suggest leaving the children at home, unless you are prepared to invest some time covering the many issues this movie touches.
Year of Release—1997