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average rating is 3 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Feb 24, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Zach Caplan
Written by:
Brandon J. Somerville
Brandon J. Somerville, Patricia Galvez, Jennifer Titus

Written by Brandon J. Somerville, Nativity is a wild introspective look into the future of technology and its potential control over humanity. The short film portrays a young married couple in the year 2092 who meet with their doctor to genetically construct their first child, but as they have to make more decisions about this chapter of their future, they encounter great difficulty with the situation as well as with each other. With the plot getting straight to the point, and themes drawing the viewer in and potentially starting audience debate, Nativity feels like a terrifying look at what humanity could become if given the chance.


‘The Nativity Program’ that this young couple encounter is a section of healthcare that has been developed to allow parents autonomy and choice when starting a family. Parents are able to select physical and emotional characteristics, as well as personality type for their unborn child, as well as how they are born. However, although appealing to the young couple at the start, issues and confusion soon arise as they come into conflict with each other as well as the system. Themes are obvious from the outset, as the doctor leading the conversation states: “the margin for error is slim now, we can’t afford unproductive members of society in America anymore.” It highlights a contemporary debate over technology being overproduced, as well as an existential look into a future society.


Whilst the script over-explains in parts, it speaks on a very unique concept for a film that is very well presented. There are clear fears concerning scientific development, history and the unknown, particularly considering tradition versus new medicine - issues relevant to our current world. As 2092 is now less than seventy years away, the idea of a large change to having a baby existing in the near future feels terrifying. It is easy for viewers to feel fully immersed in every scene because of this, as they are encouraged to consider what the right decision is for the couple, or if there is such a thing as a right decision.


Two parents debating human existence makes for compelling viewing, as the choices that they make are overwhelming and previously not physically possible. Each actor gives a fantastic performance as they do well to portray confused and existential people who feel differently about a situation. The struggle over fearing a loss of humanity and something sacred to human existence versus a woman’s right to choose concerning childbirth and sacrifices is also a brilliant conflict to display on screen with such humanity and heartache and this is portrayed with sensitivity.


This short film is ultimately a well-made scientific dilemma that is delicately handled on screen, yet probes its audience to ponder over a wild future for humanity. When humans are permitted to ‘play creator’ on screen, traditionally it is turbulent and traumatic. Yet, with this short film, it leaves these characters and the film’s end in a more ambiguous way, as if left deliberately unresolved or up to personal interpretation. This is the best and only way that Nativity could end - because what is the right decision?

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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