HOMO SAPIENS 1900 is a stunning exploration of the history of eugenics, race hygiene and the quest to improve the human race. Emerging at the turn of the century, eugenic movements spawned government sanctioned research projects, whose stated goals were the improvement of the human species through biological means - including selective breeding, sterilization, and the elimination of all 'degenerate' members of society.
In the United States, the American Eugenics Society promoted the ratification of the world's first sterilization law, while Germany and the Soviet Union, in their efforts to build utopian societies, developed their own horrific applications. Unearthing startling archival footage and long-hidden documents, HOMO SAPIENS 1900 examines the social and political undercurrents that helped generate the often-feverish quest to build a superior race.
There's something intrinsically creepy about the scientific quest to create a new and improved human being, and Peter Cohen's unsettling documentary on the history of eugenics, mercilessly zeroes in on exactly what that is. In turning people into laboratory specimens and using genetic theory to try to breed superior strains of people, scientists play God... --The New York Times
Monumental, astonishing! A bone-chilling and gut-wrenching history of eugenics - a.k.a racial hygiene - in the 20th century. Highly recommended. --Video Librarian
Powerful and vivid. A stark reminder of how science can be invoked for unethical purposes. --Journal of the American Medical Association