Does happiness live in the brain? Hunting for Hedonia explores how the revolutionary technology of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) will impact human identity and our sense of self.
With pain in our movie hearts we need to inform you that, due to the recently tightened Covid-19 measures, the InScience Film Festival in Natlab Eindhoven has to be canceled. There is a bright spot though; you can watch most films of the InScience Film Festival online.
Language: English, English subtitles
A Parkinson’s patient stops trembling. A deeply depressed person feels happy again. These are some of the effects of deep brain stimulation, and this film examines its history, effect and impact. Robert Heath, a notable pioneer in this field, started experimenting with the technique in the 1960s. Archive footage and interviews reveal the spectacular results, but Heath also believed that his technique could “cure” homosexuality. It was partly due to controversial interventions like these that his ideas didn’t get much traction at the time.
Recent times, however, have seen a resurgent interest in his idea of implanting electrodes deep in the brain. Interviews with patients before and after treatment, as well as scientists and surgeons, testify to the positive results. But we also take a look at the other side of the coin: what will happen when we have the ability to shape our own characteristics and personalities? Some scientists believe it’s a question of when it will happen, not if. And of who will get to do it.
Narrated by Tilda Swinton (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Chronicles of Narnia en Moonrise Kingdom).
InScience Festival Eindhoven
This program is a collaboration with Natlab Eindhoven and InScience film festival. InScience is one of the biggest science film festivals in Europe and is unique to The Netherlands. The festival focuses on the interface between film, science and society. The program consists of science films, debates and an educational program for children and young adults.