Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gattaca - Brian Roberson

The movie Gattaca portrays a possible future of DNA discrimination and a system that only caters itself to the genetically advanced. The weak or genetically different were weeded out through genetic testing and were only allowed to work medial jobs like janitorial services. Only those with a superior genetic make-up were allowed to perform more challenging jobs.

The main ideology, which is a system of ideas that serve as the basis of a political or economic theory, in the movie was the idea of genetic superiority. This ideology led to a sense of legitimate power that left those without a superior genetic make-up in a class of people destined never to do great things. This set of circumstances led to a type of genetic hegemony, which is an ideological control that worked effectively because the world view of genetic superiority by the ruling elite was actively taken up and supported by subordinate groups.

Myths, stories, and metaphors are used by the central control to change people perceptions within this society. People are told upon birth the day and cause of their newborns eventual death. These forms of communicating, which happen in other forms throughout the film, contain hidden, implicit, ideological assumptions that help form the deep structure of power and control in the film.

The power of the society was displayed by the director overtly through these genetic tests and subliminally through the use of color, architecture, camera angles. The color of the movie is very drab and dark and women wear their hair back, almost to look as manly as possible. Also the women in the movie have almost no choice. Vincent’s mother is not even allowed to have a say in her son’s name, it’s the father who decides. Vincent is also not given his father’s name because his genetic identity isn’t worthy of his fathers name.

The choice of architecture and furniture was very modern with very distinct clean lines, and an overall lack of character that reflect the authority of the ruling power which controls people’s lives. Camera angles were used to show dominance in certain situations, police or those in power were always shot with camera pointing upwards, whereas the main character Ethan Hawke was always shot with camera pointing down.

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