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Movie ReviewsHuman Nature – A Decent Albeit Limited Documentary

Keith NoakesOctober 9, 201972/100
Writers
Adam Bolt, Regina Sobel
Director
Adam Bolt
Rating
G (United States)
Running Time
94 minutes
Release Date
October 4th, 2019
Overall Score
Rating Summary
Human Nature is a decent doc that somewhat handles its important albeit broad subject matter in a way that may lose some audiences before arguably stumbling by the end.

What does it mean to be truly human? Many advances in science over the last few decades in terms of research and its effects on medicine have complicated this. Human Nature is the latest documentary that attempts to cover this broad subject matter in a comprehensive way that piles on the science while trying to explain various scientific terms and processes, separating fact from fiction, focusing on the gene-editing breakthrough known as CRISPR, but whose ultimate point felt muddled once it eventually moved beyond that. Suffice it to say that it won’t be for all audiences as some will be able to absorb all the material better than others though for the most part, is a decent experience that more scientifically-inclined audiences will surely enjoy.

After an information-heavy first act, Human Nature deals with the ethical and practical implications of CRISPR for which there is still plenty of debate. Over the course of the film, expect plenty of talking heads and some insightful graphics as it tackles the issues. The film’s construction gives it an intimate feel that makes it easy to connect with it on a deeper level. There’s a lot of material being discussed here but the film doesn’t talk down to the audience and allows them to feel more emotion. A subtly emotional score also helped. Along with the usual scientists to discuss the science, the film featured some everyday stories to put a more human face on the issues, featuring families dealing with the types of illnesses for which this science may one day treat.

In the end, Human Nature falters albeit slightly once it takes a more macro approach while trying to relate its subject matter on a global scale. Since it arguably grasps at too much, it wasn’t always clear what the ultimate point of the film was. While this subject matter is definitely worthy, it perhaps deserves more time than a 90ish minute feature film to do it justice.

*still courtesy of Films We Like*


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