The pod generation

Carolyn Bergstrom, PhD

Associate Professor of Marine Biology, University of Alaska

The Pod Generation— Seduction + reproduction instruction

A lively talk about the bizarre courtship and mating rituals within the animal kingdom and inventive ways of parenting the resulting offspring.

Double feature with GREASE 2!

Film Synopsis

A New York couple's wild ride to parenthood involves a new tool developed by a tech giant, Pegazus.

    A New York couple, Rachel (Emilia Clarke) and Alvy (Chiwetel Ejiofor) live in a not-so-distant future where technology provides ever-more convenient living. A rising tech company executive, Rachel lands a coveted spot at the Womb Center, which offers couples a convenient (and shareable) maternity by way of detachable artificial wombs, or pods. But Alvy, a botanist with an affection for nature, prefers a natural pregnancy. And yet, as Rachel’s AI therapist puts it, why is that “natural”? So begins the tech-paved path to parenthood.

    A social satire of detachment parenting, Sophie Barthes’ third feature delves into the fraught, comedically tantalizing relationship between technology, nature, and society. In her imaginative world, AIs make coffee, print toast, track productivity, and measure people’s “bliss index.” But at what cost? Even nature is no longer natural (there are “nature pods”). Barthes brings a funny, philosophical sensibility to her questioning of society’s giddy pursuit of convenience, tech’s intrusion in our lives, womb envy, and the commodification of… everything. And Clarke and Ejiofor’s wry touch and emotional depth lend it a deep resonance and romance.

    WINNER: Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, Sundance 2023