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Children of Gaia

Original title
Gaias børn
Running time
50 min.
Denmark Denmark
Bente Milton
Lars Skree
, ,
Milton Media Film, TV Productions / Det Danske Filminstitut / TV2 Danmark
Documentary | Disability. Half-length Film
Synopsis / Plot
The birth of a deformed child has always evoked strong feelings. Reactions range from awe, curiosity and compassion to fear, repulsion and plain aggression. Our fearful fascination of the disfigured has its roots way back in our collective history. With a piquant touch of humour and irony, well known disabled British actor Nabil Shaban takes us on a spell-binding journey through history, a journey just now and then interrupted by four intelligent, interesting, dignified personalities who let us look behind and beyond their unusual facades to tell their personal stories. The film takes us from antiquity, when deformed human beings were role models for Greek and Roman Gods, via the Middle Ages, which were dominated by attempts to find "natural" explanations typical of the Age of Reason. We visit the Victorian world of side-show freaks and eventually end up in Germany during the Second World War in Hitler's horror regime with its extreme theories for the improvement of the human race that had fatal consequences for thousands of disabled. But what are the theories of today's advanced world of gene technology and prenatal diagnosis, which have made it possible to prevent deformed people from ever being born? Are we aware of the consequences? Do we have the right to deprive others of the right to live just because they are different? Disfigured people face the fact that they might belong to the last generation of their kind. What is our main characters' intimate reaction to the prospect of becoming extinct? By the end of the film, we may find ourselves profoundly questioning our ideas of beauty and perfection.
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