Award-winning filmmakers Eric Black and Frauke Sandig explore the brave new future of designer infants
Film to premiere on PBS's Independent Lens, the Emmy Award-winning series hosted by Edie Falco on Tuesday, May 16 at 10 PM (Check Local Listings)
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"Sandig and Black delve into this dream world of reproductive technology evoking its far-reaching, ethical consequences. Inspired by films such as Blade Runner and Alien, the filmmakers use the setting of Los Angeles to create a universe based on the notion that technology has reached science-fiction heights in terms of the imaginable." -- DOX , Documentary Magazine
(San Francisco)--Less a science documentary than a startling glimpse into the future of the American Dream, FROZEN ANGELS presents the future of human reproduction available today in Los Angeles, where "perfect children” can simply be added to the shopping list in a consumer-minded culture. A highly visual film, blurring the line between fiction and documentary, FROZEN ANGELS makes the connection between individuals and the society that would seek to design its children. The film is often chilling, as the viewer is left to ponder the long-term effects genetic engineering will have on our society and our world.
FROZEN ANGELS investigates assisted human reproduction as it already exists today in Los Angeles, following an array of fascinating characters and telling the personal stories of wealthy sperm bank presidents, expectant surrogate mothers, gene researchers, radio-talk-show hosts, infertile suburban couples, almost-adult designer babies, blonde and blue-eyed egg donors and feminist lawyers.
At the same time, FROZEN ANGELS dissects Los Angeles, a city better known in the rest of the world for Hollywood, Disneyland, freeways, film sets of epic proportions, silicone implants, perfect bodies at Muscle Beach and for elevating the superficial to an art. But in the Mecca of the "Body Perfect,” one in six couples is now infertile and Angelenos lead the world in the number of fertility clinics per capita. Nearly all of their customers are wealthy, and 99 percent are white. All this leaves viewers to ask, what sort of world will we leave for the children we are creating?
With the potential to screen for over 2,000 genetic diseases coming on line in the immediate future, who would risk having imperfect children the old fashioned way? Dr. Cappy Rothman, owner of the world's largest sperm bank, says it will not be long before we make alterations to the genetic code just as one types on a typewriter.
Already, his company is one of the largest customers of Fed-Ex as a leading exporter of American genetic materials to fertility clinics around the world.
The companion website for FROZEN ANGELS (www.pbs.org/independentlens/frozenangels/) features detailed information on the film and an interview with the filmmaker as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.