Human Nature (2019 film)
Film documentary cover
|Directed by||Adam Bolt|
|Produced by||Greg Boustead, Elliot Kirschner, Dan Rather, Sarah Goodwin, Meredith DeSalazar|
|Written by||Adam Bolt, Regina Sobel|
|Music by||Keegan DeWitt|
|Edited by||Regina Sobel, Steve Tyler|
News and Guts Films, The Wonder Collaborative
The film describes the gene editing process of CRISPR (an acronym for "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats"), and premiered in Austin, Texas at the South by Southwest film conference and festival on March 10, 2019.
Human Nature is a film documentary which presents an in-depth description of the gene editing process of CRISPR, and its possible implications. The film describes the process from the perspective of the scientists who invented the process, and of the genetic engineers who are applying the process. The CRISPR process, a 2015 breakthrough in biology, provides a way of controlling the basic genetic processes of life, and may help cure diseases, and many more benefits to humankind and the environment in which we live.
In addition, the film documentary considers several relevant questions including, How will this new gene-editing ability change our relationship with nature? and, What will this new gene-editing ability mean for human evolution? The film, in beginning to answer such questions, presents a review of the distant past, and takes an educated look into the, perhaps, not-too-distant future.
The documentary film includes the following notable participants (alphabetized by last name):
- David Baltimore – American biologist
- Jill Banfield – American researcher
- Rodolphe Barrangou – American researcher
- Alta Charo – American bioethicist
- Emmanuelle Charpentier – French microbiologist
- George M. Church – American geneticist
- George Q. Daley – American hematologist
- Jennifer Doudna – American biochemist
- Hank Greely – American lawyer
- Ian Hodder – British archaeologist
- Stephen Hsu – American physicist
- Francisco Mojica – Spanish microbiologist
- Ryan Phelan – Australian journalist
- Feng Zhang – Chinese-American biochemist
Reviews and criticism
According to film reviewer Devindra Hardawar, writing in Engadget, "[The film is] a fascinating primer about what led to the discovery of the [CRISPR] tool, and an exploration of the role it may have in our society. It's hopeful about CRISPR's ability to help us fix diseases that have plagued humans for millennia, while also questioning if we're ready to make genetic changes that'll affect us for generations to come." Reviewer Danielle Solzman writes, "There’s a lot of science involved here. I can’t stop but grow cautious when it comes to the Jurassic Park [film] comparisons. At the same time, I also want scientists to push for finding cures to cancer, MS, sickle cell anemia, etc. Maybe gene editing is one possible solution as Human Nature shows." Film reviewer Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica asks, "[Does this film describe] the future of health? The future of a ... nightmare? By anchoring both of those extremes with a funny, human touch, Human Nature made me feel comfortable with a landing point somewhere closer to the middle." Reviewer Sean Boelman notes, "Overall, Human Nature [is] an interesting and effective documentary. If you are a fan of science-oriented films, this is not one you will want to miss."
- Hardawar, Devindra (March 11, 2019). "CRISPR doc 'Human Nature' embraces the hope and peril of gene editing - It's the best CRISPR primer yet". Engadget. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Staff (2019). "Human Nature (2019)". IMDB. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Staff (2019). "Human Nature - Film Screenings - SXSW Schedule". South by Southwest. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- Machkovech, Sam (March 17, 2019). "New documentary has a good time asking how gene editing might change the world". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- Solzman, Danielle (March 10, 2019). "SXSW 2019: Human Nature". SolzyattheMovies.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Boelman, Sean (March 11, 2019). "SXSW 2019 – Review: "Human Nature" Is A Fascinating Science Documentary". PopAxiom.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.