This film, originally aired by PBS on April 21, 2001, is a two-hour special look at the Human Genome Project and its far-reaching implications. It is part of PBS’s NOVA science television series. It is available online, in both QuickTime and RealVideo, and closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. For your convenience, the two-hour program has been divided into 16 chapters.
The program chronicles the race to crack the human genome, and explores many of the ethical, social, and emotional issues raised by modern genetic research. Of particular interest to Ashkenazi Jews, as well as health professionals who work with the Ashkenazi Jewish population, are Chapters 3 and 14.
Chapter 3, "One Wrong Letter", provides a look at the impact of Tay-Sachs disease on two brothers and their families. Included in this chapter is an explanation of the disorder and its pattern of inheritance.
Chapter 14, "A Family Disease", examines breast and ovarian cancer, and the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 mutations, which are more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. It also raises the subjects of family history and screening young women.
PBS also provides an informative and engaging companion website.
At 31, filmmaker Joanna Rudnick faces an impossible decision: remove her breasts and ovaries or risk incredible odds of developing cancer.
Armed with a positive genetic test result that leaves her essentially "a ticking time bomb," she balances dreams of having her own children with the unnerving reality that she is risking her life by holding on to her fertility. In the Family follows Joanna as she takes us on a journey through the unpredictable world of predictive genetic testing.
Turning the camera on herself, Joanna bares her conflicting emotions about preventative surgery and the potential consequences. Turning the camera on her new relationship, she and her partner capture a young couple falling in love in the shadow of the mutation. Turning the camera on the company that owns the patents to the BRCA genes, she questions their control over access to the test. Along the way, she looks to other women and families dealing with the same unbelievable information.
Intensely personal and timely, Kartemquin Films' In The Family is a groundbreaking investigation that attempts to answer the question: How much do you sacrifice to survive?
Watch the Center's news & events listings and our blog for upcoming screenings of In the Family in the Chicago area.
In The Family was nationally broadcast on P.O.V. by PBS in October 2008.
Your brain is a station with millions of channels. One faulty signal and you can't control your body anymore. The problem is, no one knows which channel. And for people with dystonia, the search for the right signal puts them on the front line in cracking the code of the brain.
When she was 17, independent producer Laurel Chiten hopped in a friend’s car and woke up in an ambulance. Months later, her head began to twitch. But it was more than 20 years before she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called dystonia.
Now she leads us on an almost science fiction-like trip to the frontier of medicine. And into the mystery of who we are. Skin deep. Brain deep. Neuron deep. Or something even deeper?
In Twisted, Chiten’s narration connects the stories of Pat Brogan, a basketball coach and triathlete who developed dystonia after a bike accident; Shari Tritt, whose dystonia affects her whole body, and Remy Campbell, an artist who gambled on a radical form of brain surgery—and won. The film also includes pianist Leon Fleischer and NPR talk show host Diane Rehm, who both battle dystonia.
Together, these individuals try to answer the question, when you are trapped inside your body, what will set you free?
Twisted was nationally broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens. Interact with the filmmakers and subjects at the PBS site.