Apart from being a form of art, expression and entertainment, films may also be considered as a reflection of certain aspects of society. Analyzing films helps develop critical thinking skills and allows more insight into complex topics. Through this class, we have discussed vital concepts and analyzed various themes that may be identified when analyzing films.
Andrew Niccol’s film, Gattaca, released in 1997, is one of the movies that covers some of the concepts learned in class. Ethics is one of the clear concepts displayed in this film. One of the main ethical issues in this film revolves around genetic engineering, which is largely considered to be unethical. In the first scene of the movie, Freeman’s family contemplate having their next child genetically engineered in order to be free from imperfections (Gattaca 13:46-15:04). They thought of this after their first child – through natural birth – was born with flaws. The parents’ actions, in this case, may be considered unethical as they only sought the happiness of obtaining a perfect child, in doing so, they would be denying the child their individual rights of choosing whether to have their genetic code altered or not. Furthermore, it is unethical to discriminate against people simply based on the conditions of which they have no control over. Vincent, who has a heart condition, is discriminated against and is not allowed to pursue his dream job. He eventually becomes a garbage collector because, unlike others, he had an imperfect DNA.
In conclusion, the film Gattaca relates to our course concepts that we analyzed. It raises some of the ethical issues related to genetic engineering. Overall, it is unethical to have a child genetically engineered without their consent. Besides, it is also unethical to discriminate against others because of their flaws.