March 3, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

Pick of the Day: Fixed | DVD

FixedFixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. 60 min. Dist. by New Day Films. 2013. $150. ISBN 9781574484830.
Gr 9 Up–The tone is set from the opening sequence, as a woman in a wheelchair in scuba diving gear navigates gently through an underwater reef, her hair and the air bubbles trailing hypnotically upward. Fixed explores the science and ethics of enhancements, from therapeutic restorations that allow a father to kick a ball with his children, a paralyzed man to mentally direct a robotic arm to hold his partner’s hand, to the benefits anticipated by “transhumanists,” who embrace technology to extend mental and physical abilities beyond what is today defined as “normal.” The men and women interviewed are thoughtful, deeply committed, and well spoken as they present their points of view, such as biochemist and university professor Gregor Wolbring, a legless, self-described “variation” who crawls by choice in many public situations. The film addresses the economic aspects of who benefits from enhancement technology, the issues arising when parents can select genetic traits in offspring, and the degree to which society is responsible for designing a world that’s accessible for everyone. (The film incorporates lilting dance segments by artists of with a variety of mental and physical differences.) In a non-judgmental way, it touches upon many thoughtful questions germane to almost any subject, and would be particularly well suited to classes in biology, robotics, ethics, counseling, and leadership. Director Regan Pretlow Brashear gives viewers much to consider and discuss.–Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX



  1. I’m so happy to see this film getting attention for it’s educational potential. It asks cutting edge questions in an accessible and provocative way that will speak to students and teach valuable lessons about disability (beyond the overused and traditional Helen Keller Miracle Worker assignments).

    • Milton Reynlds says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more Emily. This is an excellent film! This film provides wonderful opportunities to engage students in conversation about how we as a society, assigning meaning and value to human differences. Rather than avoiding such conversation in the service of “comfort” or replying on stock depictions that may be limiting, Fixed invites students and adults alike, to complicate their thinking by giving these issues voice and visibility through the experiences of the people and issues explored in this educational resource.
      The film is timely and thought provoking and artfully constructed. Well done Regan!

  2. This is a must see film. Really happy to see you all highlighting it here.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind