A man’s bare buttocks can be seen briefly when he swims
Vincent’s bare backside is seen when he shaves on a beach after the first sex scene.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Andrew Niccol, New Zealand writer, producer and director, is amazing!

His first film Gattaca, which he wrote and directed in 1997, is really a masterpiece of genius. The story’s description of genetic determinism and the description of the order and prejudice of the future world after the rapid development of biotechnology all remind people of Huxley’s beautiful new world (Andrew Niccol is said to be writing the script of beautiful new world, which was moved to the screen by director Ridley Scott in 2011), but it seems to go further than beautiful new world, Especially in the weight of science fiction; But what is more frightening is that the horror world of genetic discrimination described in this 1997 film is by no means a fantasy.

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Since 1973, American biologists Stanley n. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer have made a breakthrough in genetic engineering after breaking down DNA into segments and recombining it, and entered a new era marked by the human genome project in the United States in 1990. Today’s biotechnology can not only clone, transgenic, but also innovate species. The development of genetic technology has led to eugenics. The Manhattan and Los Angeles clinics of an American doctor have helped thousands of couples choose the gender of their children and announced that they will choose the eyes, hair color and skin color of their offspring in the coming months.

In the Gattaca world founded by Andrew Niccol, such eugenics clinics have become popular in society. In fact, only the poor who can’t afford to pay will choose “inferior” natural fertility, because the enhanced gene fertilized eggs cultivated in the clinic are “a miracle that can’t be achieved by natural conception a thousand times”. When the parents questioned the enhanced gene child, the doctor replied very attentively: “don’t worry, the child is still your own gene crystallization, but it is the best crystallization.”

Once the whole society is making this “optimal crystallization”, the structure of the whole human society has undergone far-reaching changes. Race, region, gender and other factors are no longer important, because the comparison of “optimal crystallization”, “suboptimal crystallization” or “natural crystallization” has obviously become a defective product of the system and is excluded and despised by systematic discrimination. The key to the existence of this new type of genetic discrimination is, I think, on the one hand, the result of social natural competition, but more importantly, genetic determinism.

Gene determinism holds that a person’s behavior, personality and appearance are uniquely determined by genes. Human genes are good or bad, and human beings should be committed to “improving varieties”. Nazi Germany once used genetic determinism to consolidate the “higher” status of the Aryan race with blond hair, blue eyes and white skin as an argument for Tu Yu. Biologists Richard Lewontin, Steven rose and Leon Kamin summarized the theoretical system of genetic determinism:

“Biology (gene) Determinists are actually exploring the reason why people are human and the root of human behavior. They believe that human life and behavior are the result of the characteristics of biochemical substances that make up human cells; And these characteristics are only determined by the construction of human genes. Ultimately, all human behavior – that is, all human society – is determined by a series of factors, from genes to individuals to the sum of all human behavior. ”

But in essence, the development of modern genetic engineering technology can not draw any decisive conclusion. For example, through the detection of gene sequence, we can predict the probability of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but this probability can only reach about 5%; Even in the future society with highly developed genetic technology in the film Gattaca, the probability of predicting various diseases and life expectancy still can not reach 100%. But people often confuse probability with actual occurrence. Probability refers to the possible percentage of an event if it is repeated many times from a statistical point of view; As a unique individual, the probability can only represent one possibility – the 30% probability of suffering from heart disease can not predict that this person will suffer from heart disease in the future, and he / she is still 70% likely not to suffer from heart disease at all.

At present, gene determinism is still the subject of debate in biology, and many well-known scholars support gene determinism. For example, in 1998, chairman of gene structure and specification Laboratory of National Cancer Institute, In his book symbiosis with genes, biologist Dean Hamer said that everyone’s “core personality” is “engraved into the body since birth, just like the color of his eyes, it is a gift of his parents’ genes”. James Watson, director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and co discoverer of DNA structure, also said that “our destiny is determined by our genes”.

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The existence of gene determinism makes gene discrimination an inevitable result. As early as 1982, an article published in the Journal of the American Bar Association pointed out that at least six well-known chemical plants regularly tested their employees’ blood to determine who was more vulnerable to chemicals, although two of them, DuPont and Dow, denied using the test results to determine the needs of employees. The biggest difference between genetic discrimination and discrimination such as race, sex, age and nationality is that it is not discrimination based on actual events, but a speculative discrimination. It is discrimination based on the possible probability of a certain situation in the future, and completely ignores the probability that the event will not happen. This speculative discrimination makes the means to combat it very limited, because it is difficult to prove some speculative discrimination in law. Therefore, although the United States finally passed the historic anti genetic discrimination act on May 21, 2008, its effectiveness remains to be investigated.

In fact, in the Gattaca world, genetic discrimination against employees is also illegal, but “no one takes it seriously”. Employers can take various measures to obtain candidates’ genes – tea cups, paper towels for wiping hands, inadvertently dropped hair – genetic privacy is just an impossible concept. There are also cheap street gene testing stations in the film. Where can a girl who has just kissed go? Wipe her mouth with a cotton swab to get all the genetic information of her partner – IQ, risk of various diseases, life expectancy, etc. When Ethan Hawke, the owner’s official document, knocked down the guard at the back door of the nightclub and the police officer fled, the detective who immediately came ordered the police officer who fell to the ground to moan. The first sentence was: “don’t touch anywhere, don’t swallow saliva”, and then quickly obtained the Vincent gene carried by the police officer with a cotton swab before he got up.

When I see here, I feel funny and creepy. If everything about human beings can be determined through genetic analysis, if our happiness, anger and sorrow, our love and pain can one day become cold chemical formulas, if each of us can be replaced by symbols, they can be copied infinitely, including the unique thoughts and memories that define why we are “me”, What a terrible end it will be! On that day, “I” will no longer exist, leaving only “organisms” and only “perfect crystals” with the same face. It’s like turning on the TV today. The screen is full of artificial beauties who have cut bones, raised nose, reduced fat and padded chin thousands of times. How far are we from Gattaca’s world?

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In 2008, Dr. John Bargh, a professor of psychology at Yale University, and his assistant carried out an experiment. 41 volunteers were asked to describe their first impression of a stranger. The pictures of strangers everyone saw were exactly the same as the introduction they heard, but before telling their impression, the experimental assistant inadvertently asked the volunteer to help him hold his cup, sometimes hot coffee and sometimes iced coffee. The results showed that volunteers with hot coffee had a better impression of the same stranger than those with iced coffee. After a similar experiment, 53 volunteers were asked to evaluate a physiotherapy heat pad as a reward. Afterwards, they were given a small gift or a voucher. The experimental results show that the physiotherapy pad is hot when evaluating, most of them choose vouchers, while the cool ones choose gifts.

When NPR broadcast the news, the reporter couldn’t help commenting: how many “our thoughts” are really our own? I can’t help thinking about the classic marriage joke. The secret of a successful wife is to make her husband think that all his ideas are his own, well, they are “his own”.

A more interesting example is Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain neurologist at Harvard University. She suffered a stroke in 1996 and her left cerebral blood vessel ruptured and recovered after treatment. Dr. Taylor described how she felt after her stroke: “I lost my balance and fell and leaned against the bathroom wall. I looked down at my arm, but I found that I couldn’t feel the boundary of my body – I didn’t know where I started and where I ended, because the molecules that made up my arm were all mixed with the molecules on the wall. I could only feel the existence of energy…. at first I was a little scared, but soon I was worried Attracted by the huge energy around. I can no longer determine the boundaries of my body. I feel huge and stretched. It seems that I have become one with the energy around me. It’s a wonderful feeling. ” This wonderful, calm, peaceful and spiritual experience integrated with the world is very similar to Buddhism’s “unity of heaven and man”, “Nirvana” and “detachment”. Dr. Taylor, a brain neurologist, explained this phenomenon simply: the right brain is in charge of perceptual knowledge to absorb information, while the left brain is in charge of logical thinking to process information. When the left brain in charge of logical thinking stopped working due to the rupture of blood vessels, “I” disappeared, leaving the unprocessed original information. That’s why she couldn’t distinguish her arm from the wall, “all the molecules were mixed into one”; This is why she only feels the flow of energy and feels that she is integrated into nature, infinite peace and beauty.

The transcendent realm of “forgetting things and me” to be reached by Taoist meditation and the original nirvana in Buddhist spirit can be achieved by self-training to inhibit the logical thinking of the left brain. No wonder so many people take hormones through external forces – drugs – to inhibit the left brain from producing orgasms. In the film “the blind Walker” in 2006, a future drug “d pill” will cause damage to the left brain and contradictions between the left and right brain, frequent illusions and confusion between the two.

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Michael Kinsley, a commentator at Time magazine, said in a May 2008 commentary: “There is not much difference between nature and nurture. Maybe your parents gave you good genes, or they gave you millions of inheritance, or they are noble people who taught you the virtues of thrift and hard work. Even in the last example, why should you get these good values? What is the difference between inheriting a pair of good genes Is it different? ”

Perhaps, in the face of genetic determinism, we should not be too frightened. The inequality caused by human birth has existed in the past, now and will not disappear in the future. Opposing gene determinism is not to hinder the development of gene technology, not to give up exploration and seek the truth of life because of fear; On the contrary, in the face of too many unknowns, giving scientists more freedom and more space can better contend among a hundred schools of thought and be closer to reality. On the issue of genetic discrimination, the more important thing is how we should recognize genetic determinism. Lawrence, former president of Harvard University Summers had to take the blame and resign after he made a speech in 2006 about women’s lack of mathematical and other scientific talents – of course, the occasion on which he made this speech is extremely inappropriate and obviously does not match his identity as president – but on the other hand, I also regret his departure. After all, from the standpoint of pure science, Shouldn’t we study why many women have an advantage in language, why blacks are so outstanding in jumping and running, and why Asian students are ahead of American students in computing skills? The conclusion may not be all genes – even I firmly believe that genes are only one of the elements and far from the decisive factor – but a loose scientific research environment and a strict legislative and law enforcement system should complement each other. The most important thing, specific to each of us, is our attitude towards discrimination.

Before the release of Gattaca in October 1997, Sony specially organized an audition for the society of mammalian cell biologists. At the end of the video, there were photos of Einstein, Lincoln and Jackie Joyner kersee, the most famous female athlete in the United States, with Subtitles: if genetic engineering and genetic experiments had been realized early, Then none of these celebrities will be born – they have dyslexia, Marfan’s syndrome and asthma. The final conclusion subtitle is: “of course, another person who will never be born, that is you.” The audition was well received by scientists, but when it was released, Sony decided to remove the final subtitles and pictures – they were worried that they would offend the audience’s feelings.

I think it’s a pity that Sony’s conservative decision lost the opportunity to make this video more heated debate. Finally, the display of these pictures actually conveys a very key message: while optimizing genes, it also eliminates the most important element that inspires mankind to move forward – pain, problems, defects and deficiencies. “Perfection” is both a blessing and a curse. The most perfect Jerome in the video is the one who can’t face disappointment, and Vincent, who is regarded as inferior, will always try his best to work towards his ideal without reservation. This unreasonable adventure and struggle without fear of death and self-protection is the human spirit, the hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box, and the greatest impossibility that can not be summarized and deduced by the independently disassembled genetic elements. This spirit makes us realize the gap of statistical probability, let us be desperate for illusory love and ideal, let us catch a glimpse of the dawn hidden behind the limit, and let us finally become “me” and a person.

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Gene optimization aside, although I don’t want to believe that the development of science and technology can completely crack the human brain one day, I still have to consider whether life is meaningful if gene determinism is finally proved and “I” will eventually be solved to form a pile of elements: chemicals, bioelectricity and hormones? If from birth, people’s fate is really defined by various probabilities as in the Gattaca world, and even Vincent’s rebellious spirit can be analyzed and predicted early, is it necessary for us to live?

Throughout the history of human development, in fact, the definition of “meaning of life” in different stages is not invariable. Before the information revolution, we emphasized that the difference between human and animals lies in human creativity, human social thinking and logical reasoning ability. We emphasized “brain”; After the information revolution, computers are more and more powerful in simulating the human brain. We begin to emphasize the non logical perceptual components of human thinking and the “heart”. At the end of the 2009 film terminator Savior, it declared that “the human heart cannot be programmed”. However, whether it emphasizes the “brain” or “heart”, it seems that the “meaning of life” is inseparable from the definition of human beings and emphasizes the difference between us and this or that form of existence. Whenever new technology, new things and new discoveries blur the boundaries of the original people, we have to panic for a while. It seems that life will lose its meaning if we do not prove the superiority of “people” and maintain the unique position of “people” in all things in the universe. Such a class concept of “self-respect” is closely related to all kinds of problems within human society

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