Review: ‘Future Baby’

Hot Docs 2016

2 mins read

Future Baby
(Austria, 91 min.)
Dir. Maria Arlamovsky
Programme: World Showcase (World Premiere)


Future Baby assembles an international cast of subjects for a talking heads piece that debates the relationship between natural reproduction and genetic engineering. Global voices share experiences with in-vitro fertilization and the stories bring a mix of happy successes and unfortunate tragedies. Future Baby asks many questions worth gestating in moviegoers’ minds throughout the festival.

The doc offers little new information, though, so even a twenty-something with a cursory knowledge of assisted reproduction will likely find that Future Baby regurgitates the same old can of worms. While Future Baby approaches the ethical and philosophical questions entailed within the business of Petrie dish foeti, such as the controversy of parents playing God and manipulating their babies’ DNA, the film largely restricts its perspectives to heteronormative nuclear families. The doc notes that attitudes are changing towards the production of babies, but it ultimately preserves the unified image of a mother, father, and child as the hallmark of success. Similarly, director Maria Arlamovsky offers an impressive range of voices, and the international scope of the film is admirable, but it favours the experiences of baby makers and prospective parents in the developed world.

Arlamovsky nevertheless tackles the subject from many angles and packs a wealth of accessible information into her film. This bouncing baby invites a larger debate as the credits roll.

Future Baby screens:
-Saturday, April 30 at Cineplex Scotiabank at 6:45 PM
-Monday, May 2 at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 1:00 PM
-Sunday, May 8 at the Isabel Bader at 10:15 AM

Please visit the POV Hot Docs hub for more coverage on this year’s festival.

Hot Docs runs April 28 – May 8. Visit for more information.


Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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