Gattaca - Genetic Engineering

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Andrew Niccol’s film, “Gattaca” describes a world where genetic engineering has become norm. Based on a society where intellect is built not on diligence and determination but instead genetic determinism, the film explores oppression in society, displaying just how easily corruption can become. Race, sex, height and gender; discrimination of which is unseen in the world of Gattaca. Genoism, the neologism coined by Niccol to describe unethical and illegal genetic discrimination is more prevalent in the film than any other message. Based in the “not-so-distant future”, genetic discrimination is depicted as misguided, dividing within a society. Vincent makes it apparent that genes have become destiny. In a world deemed as unjust in acts of discrimination, the society where Gattaca is based proves otherwise; rejecting both the desires and dreams of un-enhanced individuals known as the in-valids. Anton, Vincent’s father, becomes instantly ashamed of Vincent’s genetic ‘destiny’, in turn giving his name to his next son, who is genetically engineered as elite. Seen as being fearful of ‘inferior’ blood, Anton refuses to become Vincent’s blood brother, putting both his status of elite and ‘blood’ ahead of his ‘blood’ relations. Further, when Vincent is seen to be incompetent to attend school, because the “insurance won’t cover it,” - displaying again the discriminating and dangerous world that Genetic Engineering has since created. Vincent mentions that he “now belonged to a new underclass – no longer determined by social status or the colour of his skin.” Instead, characters can present a single hair of a potential mate for DNA sequencing, in turn summarized by a single number indicating overall eligibility. Irene is given the result of Vincent’s DNA – “9.3, quite a catch”; leading her to express bitterness in the idea that Vincent may not be as inferior as once thought.

This hazardous world of discrimination is exposed after the Director’s murder when in-valids are...
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