Gattaca: How a Sci-Fi Movie Shaped Our Future

Are you familiar with the movie Gattaca? If not, you’re missing out on a groundbreaking sci-fi film that has tremendously impacted our world. This 1997 classic explores a future in which genetic makeup determines people’s lives. It is a cautionary tale that warns us about the dangers of unchecked genetic engineering and the importance of personal agency. In this article, we will delve into the significance of Gattaca and how it has shaped our world.

The Plot of Gattaca

The film takes place in a future where genetic engineering has become so advanced that babies can be designed to be perfect in every way. This has led to a society that values genetic perfection above all else. Vincent Freeman, the film’s protagonist, is a “natural-born” who dreams of going to space. However, he is deemed “genetically inferior,” so his chances of success are slim. To achieve his dreams, Vincent assumes the identity of a “genetically superior” person and goes to great lengths to keep his true identity a secret. The story is a powerful commentary on the nature of identity, the power of discrimination, and the importance of self-determination.

The Impact of Gattaca on the World

Gattaca was released in 1997 when genetic engineering was becoming a reality. It was a groundbreaking film exploring the ethical and moral issues surrounding genetics in society. Its impact was immediate and far-reaching. The film raised essential questions about the role of genetics in society and challenged the idea that perfection is the key to success. It helped to create a public discourse around the dangers of genetic engineering and its potential to create a new form of discrimination.

The Laws that Were Written to Prevent the Future Depicted in Gattaca

In the years following the release of Gattaca, many countries began to recognize the potential dangers of unchecked genetic engineering. Laws were written to prevent the kind of future depicted in the film. In the United States, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2008, prohibiting genetic discrimination in employment and health insurance. In the United Kingdom, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was amended in 2008 to regulate the use of human embryos in research. These laws were inspired by the cautionary tale told in Gattaca and the potential dangers of unregulated genetic engineering.


Gattaca is more than just a sci-fi movie. It warns about the dangers of unchecked genetic engineering and the importance of self-determination. Its impact has been felt worldwide and has helped shape the laws that regulate genetic engineering. The film raises important questions about the nature of identity, discrimination, and personal agency. It is a powerful reminder that we must always be vigilant against the potential dangers of new technologies.

Listen to our episode on this movie to get our thoughts on the subject.

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