What can CRISPR—Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, a gene-editing process—do for mankind? Cure disease? Alter the environment? Produce designer children? Explore the possibilities, and the debate, in this doc.
"Eye-popping film that should become required viewing for students and people of all ages."-Glide Magazine
"Often you don't realize you're in a revolution until after the revolution has occurred," one bioethicist explains in Adam Bolt's riveting documentary on CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), an incredibly precise gene-editing tool with far-reaching repercussions for human health, the environment, and, hauntingly, human nature. Free our genes of sickle-cell anemia or cancer? Re-engineer the environment to resist climate change? Produce designer babies? Resurrect a herd of woolly mammoths? Drawing on an impressive lineup of leading researchers and ethicists and conveying technically complex explanations through clear, accessible visuals, Bolt situates us at a moment of dramatic transition. With CRISPR, fantasy and science intersect: Our capacity for Huxley's "Brave New World" is no longer a mere cliche. Bolt counterpoints nightmarish visions of genetically modified soldiers with the unbridled optimism of bioengineers and the anguish of parents who've lost children to genetic disease. A throughline in his seven-chapter doc is David Sanchez, a hope-filled boy with sickle-cell, who grounds and humanizes the abstract talk of ethicists and researchers and imbues the doc with urgency. Human Nature is ambitious in its scope, likening CRISPR to the advent of the internet, the nuclear bomb, and, on a much grander scale, agriculture. Walking a tightrope between science and science fiction, Bolt's treatment of CRISPR is well-balanced, absorbing, and above all thought-provoking.
Adam Bolt is a documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his work as editor and co-writer of the Academy Award®-winning film Inside Job (2010) and as senior producer, writer, and editor of Showtime's docuseries "Years of Living Dangerously," for which he won an Emmy Award. Bolt makes his directorial debut in the documentary Human Nature (2019), which debuted at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival.
Sponsored by PATH, Puget Systems
- Director: Adam Bolt
- Principal Cast: Jill Banfield, David Baltimore, Rodolphe Barrangou, Alta Charo, George Church
- Country: USA, Spain, Turkey, Australia
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 107 minutes
- Producer: Meredith Desalazar, Sarah Goodwin
- Screenplay: Regina Sobel, Adam Bolt
- Cinematographers: Derek Reich
- Editors: Regina Sobel, Steve Tyler
- Music: Keegan Dewitt
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- Format: DCP