The movie Gattaca is my favorite movie of all times. It is the story of a person born of natural ways that need to live in a society where everyone has been selected based on their genes. I think it is an absolute masterpiece, with an incredible photography, excellent actors and a very clever script, touching on very deep issues.I got a chance to visit the place where the movie was filmed, which happens to be the Marin County Civic Center, in San Rafael, 20 minutes North of San Francisco. The place is absolutely wild.
While it seems to be a dystopian intrigue around genetic discrimination, it is actually subtle parable for systemic racism. The movie as a whole is a discussion around the fuzzy notion of meritocracy: people are still supposedly selected on their abilities, and it is formally illegal to conduct genetic testing (extending the notion of “protected characteristics”), but this eventually is a sham. It is interesting to notice that the movie has only two black characters – the geneticist (Blair Underwood) and the interviewer (Clarence Graham) – both serving as gatekeepers, closing the door to applicants who would try to escape their condition.
(edit: There’s also Cynthia Martell, cast as Cavendish.) I have been trying to find an analysis of the movie along these lines, but the only thing I found was an event from the Othering and Belonging Institute, focusing on the eugenics narrative.
It recently occurred to me the dystopian intrigue around genetic discrimination, is a subtle parable for *systemic* racism.The movie has only two black characters – the geneticist (Blair Underwood) and the interviewer (Clarence Graham) – both serving as gatekeepers pic.twitter.com/d66ElOuWDw— Antoine Wojdyla (@awojdyla) March 31, 2021
Back to the place… It was the last commission from Frank Lloyd Wright, and it looks incredibly futuristic, even 60 years later.