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The film opens with a text from the Bible – Ecclesiastes 7:13 “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?” It continues to tell how our civilisation may, in the not too distant future, attempt to do this.
This is a world in which women take swabs of their lips to catch the saliva from a potential husband’s kiss in order to have the DNA analysed – to assess their positive and negative attributes. It is a world in which pianists are genetically engineered so that they can play pieces “that can only be played with 12 fingers”. It is a world in which police and security checks are carried out by immediate DNA analysis from blood samples.
Vincent, the main character, was conceived by a young couple in love – in the back of a car rather than in a laboratory. Thus he was destined to be a second class citizen along with others born in the same way – and called “faith births” or “degenerates” or “invalids”. Within seconds of his birth his DNA was analysed and his parents were told that he had a 99% chance of a heart disorder and should die when he was 30.2 years old.
His parents decided to have a second son through “natural birth” as it was called – a process involving careful genetic selection and manipulation. This carefully engineered the child from the best bits of the father and mother, producing a child that (this time) was good enough to take the father’s name – Anton.
The struggle between the two brothers, with their regular swimming competitions, illustrates the struggle between “faith births” and “natural births”.
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