Irish Film Institute -FUTURES PAST: GATTACA


Director: Andrew Niccol

106 mins, USA, 1997, 35mm

This film screened 17th April 2016.

In the not-too-distant future, success and failure are determined at birth; the bio-engineered occupy the highest societal rungs, while the naturally born are destined to a life of menial labour.

Vincent (Ethan Hawke) was born the old-fashioned way, and as such he’s an ‘In-Valid’ who works as a cleaner, his dreams of space travel forever thwarted by genetic inferiority. However, can he become ‘Valid’ if he uses the DNA of Jerome (Jude Law), a genetically perfect, yet paralysed, former swimming champion?

A sci-fi thriller with ideas, Gattaca asks difficult questions about the fate of the individual in a highly regulated social order.

GUEST SPEAKERS: Shaun O’Boyle (Research Officer, Science Gallery Dublin and podcast producer) and Aoife McLysaght (Professor of Genetics, TCD) will discuss the problems with pursuing genetic perfection before this screening.

Screening as part of Futures Past: How Cinema of the Past Has Imagined Our Future, a season of films with guest speakers, presented in collaboration with Science Gallery Dublin.

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