Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Making Babies Making Perfect Babies

  • Series: On the Eighth Day, Parts 1-2

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $225.00 Series (public): $350.00
  • Date: Copyright 1992. Released 1992.
  • Descriptors: Childbirth. Ethics. Sexual ethics. Artificial insemination, Human.
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Mary Armstrong, Nicole Hubert. Directed by Gwynne Basen. Videos: 2. Color. Also available in 16 mm. 51, 51 min.
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: ||Human reproductive technology - Moral and ethical aspects||Fertilization in vitro, Human - Moral and ethical aspects|| Ethics, modern - 20th century
  • Print Entry #: 4:913
  • Reviewer: Mary Caven

    The two programs that make up the Canadian-made series On the Eighth Day are both thought-provoking and very well made. Making Babies takes a critical look at reproductive technology and successfully raises important questions surrounding the use of the very costly, time-consuming, and perhaps dangerous processes of in vitro fertilization and related technologies. The video reports that one of the most frequent causes of female infertility is chlamydia, and that the diagnosis and treatment of this ailment are simple. Yet, for reasons unknown, treatments for infertility are going in the high-tech direction, curing the effects, and seemingly ignoring the true root cause of the problem.

    Many of the visuals used in this program not only illustrate the topic, but also very effectively generate emotional responses in the viewer. For example, we see a technician with his arm inside the reproductive tract of a cow. That image is immediately followed by a scene of a woman having a vaginal ultrasound as part of her efforts to have a baby. After a number of such juxtapositions, I became more concerned, alarmed, and angry than I had been after merely listening to the facts alone. It is important to remember that the tools of a director can be powerful indeed. This type of manipulation can be very effective and persuasive.

    The second program, Making Perfect Babies, is an expanded look at the technologies of human genetics and reproduction. Subjects covered include in vitro fertilization, amniocentesis, genetic manipulation, eugenics, and sterilization. A number of people from various walks of life and parts of the world are interviewed, and we hear their views on those issues.

    Does this series have a point of view? Yes! If your institution is looking for materials that will aid in the study of the ethical and social consequences of today's science, you will want to consider purchase. If you need a more straightforward, factual look at in vitro fertilization and related technologies, preview this series prior to purchase. Though much factual material is presented, I believe the series is stronger in its ability to force our consideration of the roles of reproductive technology than in providing us with easily assimilated information. Recommended, with the above cautions.

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