Film Archive

DNA Dreams

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2012
54 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Brigit Dopheide
Bregtje van der Haak
Jean Counet, Hai Hong, Maarten Kramer
Patrick Minks, Maasja Ooms
Joris van Ballegoijen, Sander den Broeder
They are young and highly motivated, have studied abroad and speak fluent English. The employees of the Chinese BGI Ark Biotechnology company study the relation between the human DNA code and IQ. Between their cell-like workplaces and sterile labs, dreaming is still allowed because this is where our future is shaped. Which baby would you like? On the backdrop of China’s one-child policy it’s only natural that it should be perfect. So one day we will be able to assemble our ideal child by character, intelligence and looks, like in a department store. Of course, genes that guarantee a long life are particularly valued.
This company, which accepts only the blood samples of the very best, sees itself as a saviour of humanity in the vein of Noah’s Ark. Director Bregtje van der Haak was given generous access to the company premises where the young scientists talk freely about their visions. You can literally sense their excitement at “playing God”. But what if the results of their research are translated into a Western business model? As the director includes apparently peripheral details into her visual world, she manages to open a space for reflection that brings home the contemporaneity and monstrosity of these horror scenarios.

Cornelia Klauß