THE DARK GENE

Neurologist Frank Schauder has struggled with recurring depression for years. The search for the causes of his illness leads him into the realm of his own genes and casts light on the fundamental changes modern society faces as a result of the progress being made in the field of genetic sequencing.

Frank Schauder is both a doctor and a patient. As a patient, he has struggled with recurring depression for years, as a doctor he wants to find out why. The search for the causes of his illness leads him into the realm of his own genes and casts light on the fundamental changes modern society is facing as a result of the tremendous progress being made in the field of genetic sequencing. This complex subject matter is presented in an understandable and aesthetically fascinating form. Our genetic foundation is visualised with subtle computer animations and input from both scientists and artists. And something that might sound abstract soon raises some of the most fundamental questions: How much do we know about ourselves? How much do we even want to know? Because knowledge equals power – the power to manipulate, control and bring about change, for better and for worse. Who are we really? How much of us is determined by our genes? And is there a 'dark' gene? A wise, thought-provoking film about the micro-world of genetics.

Genre Science / Feature Documentary
Length 90’ / 52’ HD
Film by Miriam Jakobs, Gerhard Schick
Production Filmtank and Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion with ZDF/3Sat, SRF, SRG SSR, with the support of Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderanstalt, Bundesamt für Kultur Schweiz, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Fondation Suisa
Original Title Das dunkle Gen
Year 2016

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Neurologist Frank Schauder has struggled with depression for years. The search for the causes of his illness leads him into the realm of his own genes and casts light on the changes society faces as a result the progress being made in genetic sequencing.
Frank Schauder is both a doctor and a patient. As a patient, he has struggled with recurring depression for years, as a doctor he wants to find out why. The search for the causes of his illness leads him into the realm of his own genes and casts light on the fundamental changes modern society is facing as a result of the tremendous progress being made in the field of genetic sequencing. This complex subject matter is presented in an understandable and aesthetically fascinating form. Our genetic foundation is visualised with subtle computer animations and input from both scientists and artists. And something that might sound abstract soon raises some of the most fundamental questions: How much do we know about ourselves? How much do we even want to know? Because knowledge equals power – the power to manipulate, control and bring about change, for better and for worse. Who are we really? How much of us is determined by our genes? And is there a ‘dark’ gene? A wise, thought-provoking film about the micro-world of genetics.

Science / Feature Documentary
Length 90’ / 52’ HD
Film by Miriam Jakobs, Gerhard Schick
Co-Production Filmtank and Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion with ZDF/3Sat, SRF, SRG SSR, with the support of Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderanstalt, Bundesamt für Kultur Schweiz, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Fondation Suisa, 2016
Original Title Das dunkle Gen

Festivals and awards (selection)

Solothurner Filmtage, Switzerland 2015
DOK.fest München, Germany 2015
International Filmfest Emden – Norderney, Germany 2015
Cambridge Film Festival, UK 2015
CPH:DOK Festival, Denmark 2015
LOLA at Berlinale, Germany 2016
MILLENIUM Int. Documentary Film Festival, Belgium 2016