The 1997 science-fiction film Gattaca tells the story of Vincent Freeman, a “God-child,” “de-gene-erate,” “faith birth.” The film unfolds in a not-too-distant future where genetic modification is commonplace and children’s characteristics and predispositions are routinely decided before birth. A rarity in this world, Vincent is conceived without any genetic modification and, consequently, is born with myopia and a congenital heart defect. His inferior genetic profile has banished him to a new subclass of society, so the only way to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut is by impersonating a “valid”—a person with a healthy, genetically-engineered DNA.



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