Two Science Fiction films, and a documentary

A few SF film recommendations from screenings at IFFBoston:

The Pod Generation an amiable satire about technology, nature, parenting and relationships. A high performing manager (Emilia Clarke) receives a promotion, and a benefit–access to The Womb Center, where you have a kid without burden or stress marks, thanks to portable artifical wombs called pods. While she values the quality of this luxury experience, and her company see this as a way helping their highest performers lean in, her husband (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a botanist, is very dubious about technology replacing nature, and is disconcerted that his wife committed to the procedure without consulting him. Strong performances, a Sundance Award winner, well worth catching.

At the other end of life, Plan 75 imagines a Japan in the not too distant future where a voluntary euthanasia scheme is put in place to reduce the imbalances caused by an aging population. The focus is on the minute details of the scheme in practice–following a salesperson for the plan, an aging woman who becomes a client, and a Filipino nurse who becomes employed in providing the service. This isn’t a film about shouting politicians or activists–it is a minute slice of life examination of what happens when a society decides this is what it wants to do–a film about setting up the pop up display a community fair and explaining to seniors the benefits that come alongside deciding to end your life. If The Pod Generation is broadly comic, Plan 75 has a very dry sense of humor.

Confessions of a Good Samaritan is a documentary, but it offers very similar “science fiction style” pleasures as the films above do– an autobiographical documentary by a film maker who had decided to be an altruistic organ donor, offering a kidney for an unknown stranger. A wonderful exploration of medical ethics, technology, social beliefs and the neuropsychology of altruism.

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