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Zippi Brand FRANK
First Prize-Best Film Award / The Tel-Aviv International Documentary Film Festival 2009 Program Note
Doron, an Israeli entrepreneur with a high tech background proposes a new service - Baby production. The baby producer (as he introduces himself) provides customers with a cost effective solution using outsourcing of the surrogacy element to India as a way to lower prices. The preferred genetic material is selected by the clients and the rest is left in the hands of the producer. Packed in liquid nitrogen, only the embryos that fit the customers preferences are shipped by air to India - where they are implanted into the wombs of local surrogates. The customers arrive only at the end of the nine month pregnancy period to pick up their babies.
It would be naive to expect children these days who get a good sex education to ask this, but if they ever ask “why and how was I born” like Kim So-wol’s poem, then Google Baby might say that sperm, ovum and tweezers are all you need. Google Baby starts with friends arriving at the first birthday of the Dorons’ baby. The Dorons are a gay Israeli couple. Then ‘how’ did this baby come into being? Google Baby is a documentary that retraces the entire process of how this baby was born. The Israelite Doron goes to America with his sperm and ovums that he purchased from an ovum dealer in Eastern Europe through an online ovum corporation, where they are fertilized. Quite unlike the joke that the common factor of sperm and politics is that it is difficult for either to become human, the sperm reaches the ovum and safely latches onto it without much effort, thanks to a technician’s tweezers. Doron now goes to Mumbai, India with a case carrying the embryos frozen at minus 80 degrees. There he meets an obstetrician and searches for an Indian surrogate mother to plant the embryo in. In this case, there is a different mom for the ovum, the womb, and nurture, with the nurturing mom also being the nurturing dad. In a world where a credit card makes anything possible, the womb can be completely separated from a woman’s body. As Shulamith Firestone expected, could this world where all the values associated with a woman’s body have been detached be called Utopia? Or is it a world of dystopis that Margaret Atwood had imagined? I am curious to find out what the audience will think as they watch this documentary. (IM Ok hee)
First Prize-Best Film Award / The Tel-Aviv International Documentary Film Festival 2009
Zippi Brand FRANKZippi Brand FRANK
Born in 1970, Israel. She attended Harvard University under a Nieman Foundation Fellowship. She is the director of the television documentary series She Is in the Army Now - “Yerukot” (01), Somebody to Love (03) and Wake Up Call (05). Google Baby (09) is her first feature documentary.