While sci-fi fans like me wait for the highly anticipated sixth season of black mirror to be released, a movie in the program of the Sundance Film Festival 2023, The Pod Generation, delivered the kind of “what if” that could have suited other episodes of the Netflix series. The movie stars game of Thrones‘Emilia Clarke living in a version of the future where there is the possibility of having a baby via a (and very expensive) plastic egg. My biggest takeaway from the whole thing is how likely it can feel.
The Pod Generation aims to ensure that our phones control pretty much everything in our lives right now, so why shouldn’t it do the same for childbirth one day? Writer/director Sophie Barthes’ film has a clever vision of what our future might be, given that screen time is encroaching on our times more than ever. But it’s not a terrifying horror film, it’s an endearing and satirical approach to the subject, and it takes its audience along the path of its concept.
The world of the film envisions the Siris and Alexas of the world being built into our homes and planning our entire lives. Because the world is so flooded with technology, Emilia Clarke’s lead actress, Rachel, works for a tech company and has set aside time for a visit to nature, where she sits in a chair and is fed scenes and sounds of natural life. Now her husband, Chiwetel Ejiofors Alvy, is a botany teacher who studies living plants all day. When they are removed from the egg baby waiting list, Rachel is nervous about telling her husband that she doesn’t want to have her baby the old-fashioned way.
The Pod Generation is the kind of film that may spark some interesting discussions about the importance of pregnancy in having a baby. In a world where couples are having a baby and can keep the uterus on their shelf as a household item until it’s ready, it speaks especially to the increasingly isolating world we find ourselves in when we have so many things conveniently on our phones can have. For example, when we send a text message or have every song at hand, a bit of human connection is lost. This movie takes it to the next level considering what we lose if pregnancy had the same access. The scary part underlying all of this is the idea that tech companies hold the lives of the next generations in their hands.
There are also positives as we see that Rachel is able to work, drink and enjoy her life relatively since she has a baby in her plastic capsule in the oven. But what happens is that Alvy desperately tries to connect with her and begins to take on the role of a pregnant mother spending day and night with the pod. Many fascinating ideas are explored here, and the film has previously won the Feature Film Award from the Sundance Institute’s Science-in-Film initiative with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Per meetingwas awarded for the “brave” portrayal of the world of film and for the “artist’s exploration of changing gender roles detached from biology”.
The Pod Generation has no place on the Movie release schedule 2023 not yet, but we’ll keep you posted. When Emilia Clarke continues to move out game of Thrones, The franchise continued, of course house of the dragon and other upcoming game of Thrones shows.