Children of Gaia
About IDFA
Children of Gaia
IDFA 1998

Children of Gaia

Children of Gaia
Bente Milton
50 min
Festival history
The birth of a deformed baby evokes strong emotions, from pity to repugnance, from curiosity to fear. A number of adults tells what it is like to live without arms or legs, with fragile bones or claws for hands. As it turns out, all of them have found a passion. One is climbing rocks despite his handicap, the other is engrossed in computers, or makes paintings with his mouth. As a framework for these portraits, the disfigured English actor Nabil Shaban, the narrator of this film, provides a historical perspective. The ancient Greeks used deformed people as examples for the gods, while the Middle Ages set the tone for the abhorrence they arouse until today. Christianity divided the world into good and evil, heaven and hell, light and dark, so that disfigured people were considered the counterparts of the divine creature, even as the accomplice of the devil. In the Victorian Age, many of them were doomed to perform in freak shows, like Julia Pastrana, ‘the ugliest woman in the world‘, who was mummified after her death. Now that genetic technologies bring ever closer the possibility to prevent the birth of deformed babies, the question how we should deal with abnormalities is even more relevant. The pursuit of perfection implies that these people are considered inferior, whereas this documentary demonstrates that this is not at all the case.
    Danish Film Institute
    Danish Film Institute
World Sales
    Milton Media
    Milton Media