It is unquestionable that all people deserve equal respect and appreciation for who they are. Any prejudice or discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability is not acceptable either. Although this concept should be fundamentally rooted in our society, it is with regret to see that in some areas certain people still receive unfair treatment. Therefore, some movies and TV programs have been designed to raise people’s awareness of the importance of accepting all people without prejudice.
One excellent example is a movie called “Gattaca,” which conveys the human capacity to do things with perseverance and will, even if one has physical disabilities. On the surface, Gattaca portrays an imaginary future society in which people’s physical traits are prenatally decided through gene manipulation. Our hero in the movie is Vincent Freeman, who was born without any manipulation on the doctors’ part. Expected to die at the age of 31 from heart failure, Vincent has to go through a not-so-favorable life to realize his dream of being an astronaut.
The reality for the God’s child is an underclass where people like Vincent find it hard to get much opportunity to realize their dreams. However, Vincent consoles himself with the fact that he once saved his younger brother, who has perfect genes in his body. He believes that one can do anything once he sets his mind to it, regardless of his genes. Although Vincent takes exams and does interviews to become an astronaut, he fails, and then runs away from home. In the end, he finds himself as a cleaner at the world’s most renowned aerospace engineering company, Gattaca.
With his dream so near, Vincent decides to go into a dangerous gamble of life; he finds someone who sells fake gene credentials and gets himself hooked up with a dominant gene possessor, Jerome Morrow. From then on, Vincent deserts his identity and goes through a rigorous and painful process of becoming Jerome. However, the process is not easy and Vincent has to get various painful surgeries and even inject himself with Jerome’s urine and blood in order to successfully hide his recessive gene.
So strong was his wish, Vincent becomes an astronaut in the end. Just as he replied to his dominant gene brother Anton when he asked how he had saved him from drowning, he succeeds at Gattaca because he “never saved anything for the swim back” but kept himself going through obstacles. This movie is appropriate in many ways to arouse awareness that physical conditions do not always decide people’s fate. More broadly, any physical trait one has does little to guarantee or discourage one from realizing one’s dream.
What matters is not how a person looks like or is physically capable of, but how willing he or she is to persevere and overcome exacting circumstances. In fact, we can see around us handicapped people performing unbelievable things such as winning a gold medal at the Paralympics, or saving a child from burning in a fire. Such feats are difficult even for average healthy people. We therefore call them miracles. However, these people are often unconscious of the motive of those so-called miracles; only perseverance and will power could have allowed the physically disabled to perform such things.
We can now think in a broader sense and find out what Gattaca tries to tell us; as Vincent tells us, “There is no gene for fate, and you are the authority on what is impossible. ” If this fine movie is shown at school, students will begin to appreciate each other more as who they are. Young people are easily plant prejudice in themselves because of the lack of experience they have. However, because they are young and still have a chance to change their views, Gattaca will be an excellent opportunity for them to value every individual for their own characteristics, and not judge hem by their appearance. There have been many movies and TV programs intended to arouse people’s awareness of human equality regardless of how they look on the outside. However, I would like to especially recommend Gattaca because not only is it impressive in its new approach to show the value of human will power, but also it brings out the deep emotion of compassion in anyone who watches it. After all, compassion is the first step to understanding and appreciating others.