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Produced by Mary Armstrong; directed by Gwynne Basen
Cinefort Inc. in co-production with the National Film Board (Studio D) and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1992. VHS cassette, 50:00 min., $26.95 or $39.95 for Part I and Part II. (On the Eighth Day. Perfecting Mother Nature, Part II). Distributed by the National Film Board.


Reviewed by C.L. Ross

Volume 21 Number 1
1993 January

This video is a companion film to On the Eighth Day: Making Babies. It is equally informative and if possible even more frightening, as we are shown some of the implications arising out of our ability to "diagnose" embryos.

Because we now have the technology to fertilize an embryo outside the human body, we also have the procedures necessary to screen that embryo for possible defects and diseases. The film gives us a glimpse of the moral, ethical and social difficulties stemming from an urge on the part of researchers to "fix" so-called defective embryos before they are implanted in the uterus of the mother.

There is a particularly touching segment hi the film where we hear physically challenged people talking about the ramifications of this new technology and what it might mean to the future of this planet. The effects of manipulating genes and correcting so-called defects have an impact on not only this generation but all future generations, and there do not seem to be any checks and balances in place. Shades of 1984!

As mentioned, this is a companion piece to Making Babies and there is some overlap in content between the two films. This does not detract from either film, as the repetition is handled well and is kept to a minimum. The quality of the video is excellent throughout. The medical scenes are done very tastefully and with excellent commentary, so one is never in doubt as to what is happening.

This film deserves wide distribution. The producer is to be commended for bringing to the screen a film of such significance!

Highly recommended.

C.L. Ross is a librarian with the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna, British Columbia
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