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SUBJECTS — Science Fiction;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Breaking Out; Alcohol Abuse;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect; Fairness.
Age: 14+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief violent images, language, and some sexuality; Drama; 1997; 101 minutes; Color.
Gattaca takes place in a genetically engineered "not too distant future." Fertilized embryos are selected and altered to increase intelligence, strength, resistance to disease, and to improve appearance. (The genetic counselor tells parents "It's still you, simply the best of you.") Children conceived in the normal way, "faith babies," are treated as second class citizens and relegated to menial jobs.
This film allows the viewer to work through some of the ethical implications of a society that manipulates human genes to enhance the genetic characteristics of newborns. Due to advances in genetic engineering, society will face this issue sometime during the 21st century. The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide contains background information and discussion questions to help teachers explore the themes of this film.
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Gattaca introduces children to a brave new world of genetic engineering gone astray.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Gattaca.
Gattaca is a multifaceted film. It's the story of Vincent, a "faith baby" with strong will power who dreams of exploring space but lives in a world where only the genetically enhanced can be astronauts. Undaunted, Vincent pursues his dream in the only way possible. Jerome is the opposite of Vincent. Blessed with the improvements offered by genetic engineering, he is unable to cope with the disappointments of life. Gattaca is also a murder mystery. Vincent gets caught up in the investigation surrounding the killing of his superior at work, a man who opposed the mission that Vincent has been scheduled to take. Is Vincent the murderer? Will the investigation expose Vincent as an "in-valid" and a "de-gene-erate?"
The Learning Guide to the film Gattaca contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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