GattacaGattaca is an American science fiction film starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan Arkin appearing in supporting roles. The film presents a biopunk vision of a future society driven by eugenics where potential children are conceived through genetic manipulation to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. The film centres on Vincent Freeman, played by Hawke, who was conceived outside the eugenics program and struggles to overcome genetic discrimination to realise his dream of travelling into space.

“There Is No Gene For The Human Spirit.”

Released March 20, 1998 (UK); October 24, 1997 (US)

The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. It also explores the idea of destiny and the ways in which it can and does govern lives. Characters in Gattaca continually battle both with society and with themselves to find their place in the world and who they are destined to be according to their genes.

The film’s title is based on the letters G, A, T, and C, which stand for guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA.

The film flopped at the box office, but it received generally positive reviews and has since gained a cult following.

Notable Cast

  • Ethan Hawke as Vincent Anton Freeman
  • Uma Thurman as Irene Cassini
  • Jude Law as Jerome Eugene Morrow
  • Gore Vidal as Director Josef
  • Xander Berkeley as Dr. Lamar
  • Elias Koteas as Antonio Freeman
  • Ernest Borgnine as Caesar
  • Tony Shalhoub as German
  • Alan Arkin as Detective Hugo