State of Affairs

DNA Dreams

Bregtje van der Haak
Screening time  
25.02. / Tuesday, 18:00 - 20:00 Theatre 4  
What if we could identify the genes for human intelligence? Would a brave new world of improved human beings be waiting for us?

What if you were allowed to have only one child and had the option of selecting its genes? Would you choose for a natural or a designer baby? Every day new technologies are bringing us closer a brave new world of enhanced human beings 2.0... What kind of world will that be? The documentary DNA Dreams features a new generation of scientists at BGI, China’s leading genomics research institute. The film follows 18-year-old scientist Zhao Bowen, who wants to find the genetic basis of intelligence by analyzing the DNA of 2,000 highly gifted children. At BGI’s cloning lab, 25-year-old Lin Lin produces pigs in all shapes and sizes. Deeply in love with her work, she feels ‘like a mother’ to the piglets that are conceived under her microscope.


Bregtje van der Haak

Bregtje van der Haak is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. Since 1997, she has been directing international documentaries on social change with a focus on urban life and globalization, most recently for the VPRO Backlight series. Her documentaries have been shown on television, in film festivals and in art exhibitions around the world. Her films include: Lagos Wide & Close (2005), Saudi Solutions (2006), Satellite Queens (2007), Grand Paris: The President and the Architects (2009), California Dreaming (2010), Aftermath of a Crisis (2011) and DNA Dreams (2013).

General sponsor


Netherlands, China
2012, 53', video

Directed by:
Bregtje van der Haak

Screenplay by:
Bregtje van der Haak

Jean Counet, Hai Hong, Maarten Kramer

Edited by:
Patrick Minks, Maasja Ooms

Joris van Ballegoijen, Sander den Broeder

Brigit Dopheide

Produced by:
Timedoc, VPRO

Festivals & Awards:

Film & Science Festival – Amsterdam 2013 – Grand Prix; Pariscience International Film Festival 2013 – Student Prize;
Netherlands Film Festival 2013; DOK Leipzig 2013