From botox to bionic limbs, the human body is more “upgradeable” than ever. But how much of it can we alter and still be human? What do we gain or lose in the process? Award-winning documentary, Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement, explores the social impact of human biotechnologies. Haunting and humorous, poignant and political, Fixed rethinks "disability" and "normalcy" by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever.

* Winner of 3 festival awards: “Best of the Festival,” “Harris Jury Prize for Best Film,” and “Best Feature Documentary” 

* Winner of “Top 10 DVDs of the year” by School Library Journal

* Awarded 3 1/2 stars by Video Librarian

* Highly successful American Public Television broadcast run on PBS stations around the country, with almost 4,000 telecasts since 2015, making the film available to over 255 million viewers!

 

 

Awarded "Top 10 DVD of the Year" The thoughtful and probing Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement(New Day Films; Gr 9 Up) challenges viewers’ ideas of what it means to be physically fit, as well as what it means to be human, by tackling head-on the assumptions of ableism. The documentary deals with the history of disability rights up to the 21st century, with bionic arms and other enhancements becoming more common. An excellent means to provoke discussion in biology and ethics classes.

Kent Turner, School Library Journal
Synopsis: 

***Please note: only US orders go through New Day Films. For orders outside of the U.S., please visit: http://www.fixedthemovie.com/shop/

There is a growing buzz around the potential for science and technology to create significant "human enhancement" applications, such as bionic limbs, improved memory or cognition, or the ability to choose specific characteristics for our offspring. The possibilities stir the imagination and excitement of many, while for others the rhetoric and current research into human enhancement signals alarms of a new eugenics. And yet, for most non-scientists, this sounds like the realm of science fiction, a world awash in mystery and misunderstanding. 

Featuring disability studies scholar Dominika Bednarska; disability justice educator Patty Berne; exoskeleton test pilot Fernanda Castelo; bionics engineer Hugh Herr; NPR radio host John Hockenberry; biochemist and ability studies scholar Gregor Wolbring; robot scientist Rodney Brooks; futurist Jamais Cascio; bioethicist and policy advocate Marcy Darnovsky; brain-computer interface study participant Tim Hemmes; philosophy professor Cressida Heyes; transhumanist James Hughes; reproductive rights advocate Sujatha Jesudason; disability lawyer Silvia Yee.

With cameo performances by some of the world’s leading integrated dance companies, featuring disabled and non-disabled dancers and artists, including the Anjali Dance Company, Antoine Hunter (of Sins Invalid and Urban Jazz Dance Company), AXIS, Candoco, Dancing Wheels, GIMP, Kounterclockwise, Lisa Bufano, Marc Brew, Remix Dance Company, and Sue Austin/Freewheeling

Through a dynamic mix of verité, dance, archival and interview footage, Fixed challenges notions of normal, the body and what it means fundamentally to be human in the 21st century.

Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement is an essential teaching and research tool for:

* Science & Technology Studies
* Disability Studies
* Sociology/ American Studies/ Community Studies
* Anthropology/ Medical Humanities
* Law / Legal studies/ Medical Ethics/ Bioethics
* Gender/ Feminist Studies
* Psychology/ Counseling Programs
* History (Eugenics in the U.S.)
* Social Welfare/ Social Work
* Bioengineering/ Genetics/ Neuroscience
* Engineering / Biomechatronics
* Public Health / Public Policy
* Environmental & Urban design / Architecture
* Medical schools / Prosthetic, Orthotic, Physical therapy & Rehabilitation programs
* Dance/Performance studies

Key concepts include: ableism; access; adaptive technology; bio-engineering; bioethics; biomechatronics; bionics; brain-machine interfaces; differing frameworks of understanding disability; disability arts and culture; emerging human enhancement technologies; exoskeletons; eugenics; genetics; health; humans 2.0; innovation; neuro-enhancement; performance enhancing drugs / smart drugs; prenatal screening; science; technology; transhumanism and more.

Special features includes: Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English descriptive subtitles; closed captions in English; three audio options: 5.1 surround sound; stereo; and stereo sound with audio description by Audio Eyes.

[***Please note: only US orders go through New Day Films. For orders outside of the U.S., please visit: http://www.fixedthemovie.com/shop/] 

 

 

 

 

Reviews

✮✮✮½ stars, Video Librarian

"Filmmaker Regan Brashear’s remarkable documentary focuses on the intersection of disability and science. We often hear about various achievements in helping people with disabilities through prosthetics, brain implants, eye implants, and drug therapies, but Fixed argues that the real cutting edge in these fields is not approximating “normalcy” but rather in extending human capability. State-of-the-art leg prosthetics, for example, can make someone stronger and faster, while bionic arms with robotic capabilities can do more than human arms. Memory can also be enhanced, while computers can be controlled by a person’s thoughts. Fixed introduces viewers to the world of the “extra-abled,” or “trans-humans,” along the way exploring some of the ethical and philosophical quandaries that are accompanying progress. While various advocates for human enhancement are interviewed here, there are equally strong points-of-view that there is nothing wrong with accepting a disability and living with it. Others foresee a time when a “rat race” for extra-abilities overtakes more traditional advocacy for issues such as access to buildings. Still others anticipate a wide range of people pursuing extra-abilities in order to get an edge on the job or in school. Debates will carry on, but Fixed offers a powerful introduction to this provocative subject. Highly recommended." 

T. Keogh, Video Librarian

"For those unfamiliar with either disability studies or enhancement, Fixed remains a highly entertaining, as well as visually and intellectually stimulating presentation, making it ideal as introductory material for classroom use. As a way of visualizing and personalizing a difficult, multi-faceted debate, it is highly recommended both to academics and the general public." 

Dr. Stevienna de Saille, University of Sheffield, Journal of Responsible Innovation

"The greatest paradox of cutting edge technologies is their potential to help and hurt humanity. Fixed is a fixture on my syllabus precisely because it allows viewers to wrestle with this paradox in a thoughtful and grounded way. Without fail, my students draw upon the film again and again throughout the semester, in class discussions, reading responses, and final papers, connecting its themes to course texts and contemporary events. I could not ask for more from a teaching tool!"  

Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University, author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier

"Fixed brilliantly places the voices of disability, queer, and critical race scholars and social justice advocates who would have us pay attention to inequality and discrimination and common humanity next to the voices of transhumanists and prosthetic and enhancement enthusiasts who believe that their work portends a desirable more than human future in a way that does justice to each position. This is exactly the kind of conversation that all of our students should be exposed to as we navigate a world of new technologies. Highly recommended for classes in Sociology, Science & Technology Studies, Anthropology, Gender and Women's Studies, and American Studies.

Charis Thompson, Chancellor's Professor & Chair of Women's & Gender Studies at UC Berkeley

"The film marked an absolutely pivotal moment in my own students' understanding of the stakes of enhancement, as well as disability and embodiment. We found it engaging and enchanting."  

Tammy Berberi, President of the Society for Disability Studies & Director of the Honors Program, University of Minnesota, Morris

"I screened Fixed in a disability studies-focused course I co-taught this past semester...  The students absolutely loved the film; they found it compelling and complicated, and it helped transform their understandings about bodies, disability, technology, ethics, economic justice, disability rights, etc. I *highly* recommend it."  

Joan M. Ostrove, Professor, Department of Psychology, Macalester College

"Fixed poses thoughtful, unsettling, compelling and complicated questions to students and educators in an engaging way.  Any educator who wants to equip their students with knowledge and skills to think creatively and deeply about the issues of bioethics, justice and emerging technologies should integrate this film into their Humanities or Science curriculum."

Eran DeSilva, Director of Faculty Professional Development and Social Studies Teacher, Notre Dame High School

"This film is extremely important and will be very valuable for faculty from dozens of different disciplines from the biological sciences to disability studies to the humanities and social sciences, precisely because it confronts one of the central issues of our time: how to make sense of variations among human beings and how to make sense of our capacity for radical technological innovation that will change our entire futures.”
 

Clark Miller, Chair, PhD Program, Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, & Associate Director, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, ASU

"An authoritative exposé on the use of technology in the quest for physical perfection."
 

Fariba Houman, Director, Human Research Protections Program, Mass. Eye and Ear Hospital

"An ethical and philisophical mind-bender..."

CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary FIlm Festival

"Accessible, balanced…there is something entirely new here to help students stretch their thinking. It is perfect for the classroom."
 

Stacey Wickware, U.S. History and Medical Ethics teacher, Dozier-Libbey Medical High School

"Fascinating, humane, and provocative reframing of conceptions of 'normal' bodies and 'disability."
 

Gina Maranto, Professor, Ecosystem and Science Policy, University of Miami

"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,.... 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, School Library Journal

“Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement” is a rare combination of balance, passion, and erudition.  What sets this film apart is that it gives space to both sides of an important discussion, allowing protagonists intimately involved with the consequences of contemporary technology as it relates to different bodies to have their say, while never letting go of the director’s point of view.  From now on, I will use “Fixed” in my classes.  Once you see it, you will, too.”

 

Kenny Fries, author of The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory; Faculty, MFA in Creative Writing Program, Goddard College

"As we bid good riddance to outdated, stigmatizing and controversial disability awareness programming such as ‘disability etiquette’, disability simulations, and ‘cripspirational’ speakers, this documentary is a breath of fresh air.  Independent filmmaker Regan Brashear goes beyond the blurred lines of ability/disability,  biology/technology and advantage/disadvantage to critically explore the flow above, below, and beyond the slashes of our familiar false binaries.  Posing the important questions of ‘Where does disability live?’ and ‘Who gets to decide?’, the film offers input from scholars, scientists, social justice activists, creators and  end-users of cutting-edge technologies and more to explore new and changing ways of being human in the world.  An opportunity to transform your stale campus disability awareness programming – even better with opportunities for Q&A with director Regan Brashear!"

 

Margaret M. Camp, MEd, Director of Disability Services, ADA Coordinator, USC Upstate

"Our class focuses on the ethical dimensions of new biotechnologies and the ways these biotechnologies are challenging our established ideas of what it means to be human.  Fixed was, clearly, a perfect fit.  What I—and I think my students—found most valuable about the film was its introduction of the perspectives of disabled individuals.  Disability is too often overlooked in the grandiose discussions of human enhancement.  Fixed provided my students with new, critical approaches for questioning what “normal” means and what aspirations drive our desire to be “super-human.”  Moreover, it did so in a way that really opened up the conversation and invited them to identify with this new perspective as one very valid perspective among diverse others.  Because they weren’t being told what to think, they were far more willing to re-evaluate their own assumptions.... Having Regan join our class discussion was an excellent precursor to my students seeing the film.  Regan was able to lay out the key questions of the film in ways that helped them to begin their own processes of self-inquiry before the film continued that important work.  Regan brought the key figures in the film to life for my students, helping them to appreciate the unique backgrounds that have contributed to their diverse perspectives.  The students were also fascinated by the filmmaking process itself and Regan’s own story of bringing the film into being.  Having these insights made my students even more open to, and invested in, the film and its message." 

Erin Gentry Lamb, Director, Center for Literature and Medicine, Hiram College

"Fixed is a brilliant look at the intersection of the disability experience and art, technology and societal perceptions. It seamlessly weaves significant discussions about disability together in a way that is accessible to everyone, from school-age students to university scholars. It also presents an important challenge to older, discriminatory ways of thinking about disability. It should be seen by one and all."

Beth Haller, author of Representing Disability in an Ableist World; Journalism/New Media professor at Towson University, Maryland