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Human Nature

The biggest tech revolution of the 21st century isn’t digital, it’s biological. A breakthrough called CRISPR gives us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing disease, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children. This documentary is a provocative exploration of CRISPR’s far-reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting, and the genetic engineers who are testing its limits.

“In the blockbuster Jurassic Park Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcom famously said that the scientists practicing genetic manipulation “were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Adam Bolt’s documentary Human Nature briefly references this iconic quote, but also shows that the conversation around the controversial practice is far more complex than that.

Focusing on the scientific genetic breakthrough known as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), Bolt’s film is a sprawling exploration of how the biological discovery could change life as we know it. For years scientists have been trying to figure out how to isolate and fix problematic codes in our DNA. The strains of code that cause conditions such as Sickle Cell and numerous other ailments.

CRISPR changed all of this. The discovery opened avenues to not only repair breaks in the DNA code, but potentially eliminate the defect from future generations. While many in the scientific community praise the revolutionary finding, CRISPR comes with its own share of difficult societal and moral questions.

Human Nature’s greatest strength is its ability to present the dense information in an easily digestible way. One does not need a degree in microbiology to understand the various technical terms discussed. Thanks to the engaging mixture of personalities that Bolt interviews, the film makes compelling arguments for both the benefits and dangers that CRISPR holds.” - CinemaAxis


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Directed by: 
Adam Bolt
Running Time: 
David Baltimore, Jill Banfield, Rodolphe Barrangou

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