Notes on Science and Film
Film Review
Jan 1, 2018
The Brooklyn Rail
Sonia Shechet Epstein

Films that engage scientists or scientific ideas enhance public understanding of subjects fundamental to human progress. Enhancing public understanding can advance science by informing what questions are asked, which can affect the direction of research. Lynn Hershman Leeson’s film Teknolust (2002)—starring Tilda Swinton as three distinct replicants created by a biogeneticist named Rosetta Stone, who communicates with them through a microwave, was always amazing but is newly relevant now that the human genome has been sequenced and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can alter it. This technology is as capable of creating—without sexual reproduction—new organisms, as it is of curing illnesses. Public understanding can help to establish moral and ethical usage guidelines…