Breeding Cells


2009 / 39 minutes

Directed by
Anna Straube
Country of production

Breeding Cells is a film about a reproductive laboratory. A fertility clinic is a place where human reproduction is separated from sex and anatomized into bio/technological components. There fertilization is made visible and manipulable on a cellular level while the couples themselves seem to become marginal participants in a process that involves a large number of different professionalized agents and technologies.

Recorded in the ward of reproductive medicine at Charite Hospital Berlin, this documentary approaches a scientific environment with an experimental ethnographic gaze. The filmmakers meet an open and quite unexcited "fertility team", who consider themselves assistants of nature. But what is nature in a hospital environment that is highly regulated by procedural methods, medical conventions and conservative laws? Closely describing the routines and moral concerns of the medical staff, the film portrays a time of transition, when biotechnological science fiction is turning into everyday life. This film was produced as part of a video-seminar of Christina von Braun, Kulturwissenschaftliches Seminar, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin.

Language and subtitles
German with English Subtitles
Western Europe
Reproduction (biology) Science / Technology