May 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Fixed | DVD

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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.